BY PATRICIA DUFF
Whidbey Life Magazine Editor
July 3, 2013
It was the artists and craftsmen who started Choochokam Arts 38 years ago and it’s the artists who will take over downtown Langley this weekend. The festival goes from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday, July 6 and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, July 7 in the little village by the sea. (The Langley Half-Marathon starts registration at 7:30 a.m. Sunday.)
Of course, the artists will be bolstered on all sides by musicians playing on the surrounding stages throughout downtown; children having fun at various play-stations in front of Whidbey Children’s Theater; food vendors and the folks in the beer and wine garden treating satisfied faces; and, most of all, throngs of folks flooding First and Second streets at one of the oldest festivals on the island.
But art is the main thing at Choochokam, including the artist demonstrations that happen at the U.S. Bank parking lot on Second Street, where Cary Jurriaans of the Whidbey Island Fine Arts Studio (WIFAS) and her band of like-minded, fine artists from the Langley Artists Connect (LAC) set up a kind of free “sidewalk school of art.”
Whidbey Island Fine Art Studio in Langley brings a steady stream of nationally recognized art instructors to its small studio east of downtown throughout the year and the place has become a hot spot for both local folks and visitors who like to draw and paint. The visiting artists at last year’s Choochokam demos were busy through the weekend, and Jurriaans said there will be more of the same this year, with lots of portraits and still lifes being made for the public to have a chance to see the process and pick up a few pointers.
Here’s what will be happening all day Saturday and Sunday with visiting instructors Ned Meuller, Jim Lamb, Henry Stinson, Aaron Coberly, Cheryl King and David Grey, among Jurriaans and other artists from LAC, on the scene.
- Live models will be painted by participating artists; the public is welcome to join in to paint or draw the models at no charge
- Participating artists will likely be available to do commissioned portraits
- Some artists will paint still life set ups and non-figure subject matter as demonstrations
- Information on future classes and workshops taught by both local and national instructors over the next year will be available at the site, along with guidance for interested students about which classes would best suit their needs
- Demo artists typically use various different media, including oil, acrylic, watercolor and pastels, and are expecting to answer questions about materials and techniques as a part of their demonstrations
- Whidbey Island Sketchers will also be circulating around the venue, recording what they see, and will show their sketchbooks to interested visitors
Stop by and have your portrait done or light that artistic spark that has been simmering somewhere inside.
Beyond the demonstrations, there are plenty of artists to take in at the exhibitors booths who enjoy the intimate setting lent by the village festival along Saratoga Passage and the chance to chat with art enthusiasts taking in the excellent Whidbey Island charm of Choochokam Arts.
Here’s what to expect from the exhibitors:
• Functional Art
(Pictured at top is a portrait from instructor Robert Liberace’s workshop at WIFAS./Photo courtesy of WIFAS)