Art Walk Spotlight--Pickford Art Studios part 2

The Pickford Art Studios are home to a wide variety of incredible art. During the monthly Art Walk, the community has access to check out the studios. As a continuation from part 1 of the Pickford Art Studios post, read about more of the artists you might find in the Pickford during the Art Walk:

Toby Stanger

Studio #210

People have described Toby Stanger’s art as scary, funny, hilarious, interesting and unique. When asked how he characterizes it, Toby dubs it pop surrealism. He doesn’t necessarily have a particular style, but he uses things he’s seen or watched as a kid, pop art, pop culture and other artists’ work to influence his paintings. He paints on anything from pieces of wood and old cabinet doors, to record covers and recycled picture frames.

Toby always doodled on whatever paper was in front of him in school, and took classes like art, photography and woodshop when he could. He started painting regularly about 10 years ago and began showing his work shortly after. His first show in Washington helped Toby make more connections, and people began asking him to be in shows. Word spread, and he estimates that he’s now sold over 200 paintings in almost half of the states. Although Toby has been able to sell some of his work, it isn’t his main goal. He prefers to keep painting as his hobby, rather than a job. He is extremely passionate about painting ideas that form in his head, but likes to do it just to do it.

Toby has been in the Pickford Art Studios since September 2009 and has only missed about six Art Walks in the past 7 years. He really enjoys the variety of people that come through each month. He has met some great people and has had some interesting conversations. People in Bellingham truly love looking at art and having something to do on Friday nights. Toby hopes to see more Pickford artists open their doors for future Art Walks in order to make for an even more vibrant feel to the night.

Lucas Holtgeerts

Studio #207

Branching out from painting, you will find something different in Lucas Holtgeert’s studio. About a year ago, Lucas had a small studio above the Pickford where he mostly did video editing. When he was able to move into a larger studio, he asked himself what he could do with the space. He and his business partner Ben Burnett have transformed the studio into a podcast and live music recording studio, which has been up and running for almost a month now.

With a background in audio engineering, he decided to buy equipment and set up a place for the community to record podcasts or music. The goal isn't to make a profit, so he rents the space and equipment to people for a very affordable price, just enough to have the studio pay for itself. "Bellingham is full of ideologically charged people who are trying to get things created," Lucas said. "I saw it as an opportunity." People can be as involved in the process of making a podcast as they want. If they have the knowledge, they can record and edit themselves, or they can simply come in and do their thing while Lucas records and edits. He hopes to be a tool for the community and that people will use his skills and his studio to create any sort of podcast or music. 

Lucas has opened his studio for almost every Art Walk since he was been at the Pickford. He tries to provide a venue for friends to show off their art or music during the monthly event. For the last Art Walk, he had a live music recording going for people to come in and check out. Lucas enjoys the community atmosphere during the Art Walk, and has a fun time being involved in people’s Friday nights. “Come here,” he said. “It’s mandatory fun!”

Evan Whitehead

Studio #204

Although it is a small corner space, Evan Whitehead’s studio is one to be sure to visit. Unlike a lot of the Pickford artists, Evan’s Pickford studio is just where he shows off his paintings, not where he creates his work. His beautiful, colorful scenes of the outdoors cover the walls. With a painting studio in Bellingham and one in Glacier National Park, Evan will certainly never run out of inspiration for his artwork.

Evan has always been artistic, and started painting when he was 17 years old. He has also always been outdoor-oriented, regularly fishing, camping or exploring the islands. He spends a good deal of time in the mountains and describes his work as a colorful, imaginative interpretation of his surroundings. He loves transforming blank slates into pieces of art.

The Art Walk has been a part of Evan’s life since he was little. He has gone with his parents since he can remember. In December last year, Evan stumbled across the Pickford Studios during the Art Walk. When the opportunity presented itself to rent a studio, he jumped on the chance to be there. The studio provides a semi-permanent place for Evan to show his work, as he is hoping to eventually support himself solely on his art.

Now that he has his own studio, the Art Walk is a great opportunity to meet people, increase exposure, receive feedback and create connections. Evan hopes people will come check out the wide variety of art the Pickford Studios houses. “It’s quite the collective up here,” he said.

Head on up to the studios above the Pickford Film Center at 1318 Bay St. to find these artists, plus more on Friday, July 1!

Today's post was written by Kristin Foster, Media Intern.