Bellevue Art Museum, Bellevue Square, and US Bank present
The 53rd Annual
Pacific Northwest Arts Fair
July 23, 24, and 25, 1999
The Pacific Northwest Arts Fair is the largest art festival on Lake Washington's East Side, and one of the largest and longest running art events in the Seattle area. The event presents a substantial cross-section of arts and crafts from the United States and Canada. For three days a colorful burst of humanity is drawn together by the exhibition, and enlivens the formal veneer of the Bellevue City Center. Proceeds from the museum sponsored portion of the festival, including a generous percentage contributed by participating artists from the sale of their work, provide nearly a third of the museum's annual operating cost. Founded in 1947, the fair has grown ever since, resulting in the opening of the Bellevue Art Museum inside Bellevue Square in 1975. Now the museum is growing again, and moving to a new permanent location in the heart of downtown Bellevue.
to learn more about the new museum.
In addition to the Bellevue Art Museum's juried show, this year's event was complimented by two other events; "The Sixth Street Fair" featuring commercial crafts, clothing, dolls, and home accessories, and organized by the Bellevue Downtown Association, and "The Rest of The Best" offering an impressive cross-section of Northwest arts and crafts, and organized by the Northwest Craft Cooperative in Seattle. Bellevue Square merchants participated as well with the "Bellevue Square Window Walk" showcasing the works of Arts Fair artists in window displays. The variety of work available was impressive, with something for every taste, and high quality works in nearly every discipline represented, from whimsical decoration to serious works from contemporary fine artists.
In addition to the main arts and craft events, the Bellevue Downtown Association also presented "A Taste of Bellevue" as part of the Sixth Street Fair; a culinary event offering samples of local cuisine from Bellevue restaurants.
Other museum sponsored portions of the show included a Student Art Expo offering $1000 in awards, an Artist Demo Stage, and a Kid's Fair for children to experiment and learn about the arts. As well as a wide selection of visual arts, the fair featured a delightfully varied program of live music and performance including Jazz, folk, world music, storytelling, and tribal dance at the "Celebrate Arts! Stage" hosted by Overlake Hospital Medical Center and Bellevue Square.
For the first time since 1981 the fair also included a film and video festival featuring short works by region film and video makers.
All told the fair was an impressive, well organized community event involving the cooperation of government, business, and the work of over 300 volunteers. There is no doubt that the Arts Fair is a cornerstone cultural event that validates downtown Bellevue as a people friendly place. In a world where we are often separated by our work, and isolated by the organized structure of our technological society, it is imperative that events like this one exist , giving us the opportunity to mingle in each others company, support the artistic community, and appreciate the creative human spirit that enriches us all.
Over seven hundred talented and industrious artists, artisans, and craftspeople participated in the combined event. Unfortunately it is impossible for me to mention them all, and I am forced to make a choice about what to include. This article covers the work of six of my favorites; two from the juried show, and 4 from "The Rest of the Best". To all the other artists and craftspeople involved, I offer my sincere thanks for participating in the event, and for sharing your work.
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