Art Walk Venue: Pickford Art Studios
Above the Pickford Film Center are 13 art studios, filled by all types of artists - painters, musicians, a yarn production business, a video and audio production studio and many more. Winnie Griffith, the manager of the Pickford Art Studios is a clothing designer, herself. The studios have been on the map for the monthly Art Walk for years, but Winnie has been the manager for a little over a year now.
The core reason the studios participate in the Art Walk is to show off what is going on in the upstairs part of the Pickford building. Not only can the public see behind the doors of some of the artist studios, but the artists themselves can also visit each other and catch up. It is also a great opportunity for people to tour the space since Winnie is always looking for good tenants to put on the waitlist for studio openings. “It’s been good for me in many ways,” Winnie said. “I’ve talked to a lot of nice people, run into friends, met future tenants and it helped me clarify my goals for my own work.”
Winnie also covers a wall and a couple tables with white paper and leaves crayons out during the Art Walk to entice people to not only wander through the studios, but to stay a little longer and create some art of their own. She hoped to get away from the feeling that visitors were simply looking in on the studios passively and instead give them a feeling of participation. Recently there have been people playing live music through the halls and even an artist doing a live abstractionist painting!
The next Art Walk on April 1 is your chance to see the studios yourself. Read about some of the artists you might find below:
In studio 205, you’ll find an intriguing experience during the Art Walk. Each month, Gregory Walsh does a live abstractionist painting for people to come in and watch. Although he is the new kid on the block, only being in the Pickford Studios since January, Greg has seen quite the response to his live painting. In January, Greg was so consumed in his art that he turned around to find a crowd of people that had accumulated to watch, standing mesmerized and silent.
Greg took art classes in his college years, but only got back into painting about a year ago. He started out by trying to paint a few famous impressionist paintings, but when he did his first abstractionist painting, he knew he had found his passion. His art is his attempt of letting go of the controlling nature of his left-brain thinking, and allowing his right brain to take over. He has developed his own style and technique, which involves adding paint to the canvas and then scraping some of it off. He even did an abstract painting blindfolded and left-handed!
The great abstract expressionist painters of the mid-20th century and music inspires Greg in the creation of his art. He always has music playing while painting and relates the layers of his work to music. He compares the base layer to the rhythm section in music, or the bass and drums. Any additional layers he adds are similar to the melody in music. “It takes confidence, and ultimately inspiration, to add layers of an intricate improvisation melody that can either destroy the piece, or make it a work of art,” Greg said.
Since taking up painting again, Greg has been painting like crazy. He’s addicted to coming down to his studio. The Pickford Art Studios have become like a sanctuary, a place to create without being disturbed. The Art Walk is a way for Greg to interact with art lovers and demonstrate how an abstract painting is created. It is also great for showing off his amazing, large paintings. Greg’s goal is to have his work featured in a one-man show, and eventually get into the Seattle market and beyond. For now, he wants people to see his art, talk about it and spread the word about it.
Beautiful representations of still life cover Roger Lamb’s studio in studio 212. “The mystery of life is what is before us, so I arrange some objects, put up a fresh white canvas, and start slinging paint,” he said. Art is how he talks and expresses himself.
Whether it’s peeling or shiny, Roger loves paint. He loves looking at it, he loves playing with it, painting with it and throwing it on a canvas. After setting up a white canvas and an object that looks interesting to paint, he covers his palette with pretty colors and tries to get those colors up on the canvas. Half the time it works, half the time it doesn’t.
Roger has been painting for 20 years and has been in the Pickford Art Studios for over 3 years now. He could always draw and take 3D objects and turn them into 2D. While living in California, he saw paintings by Van Gogh in San Francisco and was transformed. He started painting because Van Gogh’s work really spoke to him.
The main night-time event for Roger is the monthly Art Walk. He opens his studio each month to promote the artistic use of the studios above the Pickford and to encourage patronage of the greater art community. Roger hopes the studios will always stay rented so he does his best to make Art Walk lively by talking with people who come through and creating a stimulating environment. “The Art Walk seems to work in this town. People come and I want to contribute to the life of the Art Walk,” he said.
Art Walk is tomorrow night! We have 38 venues for you to wander through, so grab a map and put on your walking shoes!