Art festival to overlook Mukilteo's waterfront

By Sara Bruestle | Aug 27, 2014
Dimitriy Grisenko’s oil painting titled “Puget Sound” is featured on this year’s Waterfront Art Festival poster. The festival is scheduled for 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 29, at Rosehill Community Center.

A Mariner High School grad’s painting is featured on the poster for this year’s Waterfront Art Festival.

Dimitriy Grisenko, 20, of Mukilteo, won the first-ever poster contest for the sixth annual Mukilteo Arts Guild festival with his painting “Puget Sound.”

He said he was inspired by the waters off of Mukilteo’s beach to paint a ferry surrounded by rolling waves.

This year’s festival will feature 40 Washington artists selling photography, painting, sculpture, glass, pottery, wearable art, jewelry and more.

The festival, co-sponsored by the city of Mukilteo, will be held from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 29, on the Rosehill Community Center grounds.

It was moved from Lighthouse Park to Rosehill this year to make it more convenient for patrons to park and shop.

“There’s nowhere for patrons to park down at Lighthouse Park, because we’re sharing the lot with weekend visitors,” said Christine Awad Schmalz, president of the guild. “We lost a lot of [business] last year because they couldn’t park.

“Most of the visitors down there aren’t going to the Waterfront Art Festival – they’re there to have a picnic, to play volleyball or to swim.”

While shopping for art, patrons also can enjoy a variety of live music from 1:45-7 p.m. on the plaza, including country, Americana, soft rock, Native American and jazz.

The festival benefits the guild’s scholarship fund for graduating seniors from the Mukilteo School District pursuing art in college.

Three students – Christina Cruz of Kamiak High School, Jessica Pal of Mariner High School and Elizaveta Mikhailouna Lepesha of ACES High School – were awarded $600 scholarships this year.

“We want to make [our scholarships] up to $1,000, but we don’t charge much for artist booths,” Schmalz said. “We’re getting there, though. We started out with $200.”

Schmalz said the guild is excited to relocate to Rosehill. In fact, she’s already booked the plaza and grounds for next year’s festival on Saturday, July 18.

“You can still see the waterfront pretty clearly from there,” she said. “You’re not right on it, but you’re pretty close.

“Also, our Holiday Art Mart is up there, so it keeps it consistent.”

As the winner, Grisenko received a free booth at the festival and a $100 prize.

He is now a fine arts student at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco. When he was at Mariner, he also won a Mukilteo Arts Guild scholarship in 2012 and a Waterfront Art Festival booth.

He said he paints in oils mostly and focuses on still life, although he has done a few portraits. He also experiments with watercolors, painting landscapes and buildings.

His paintings have been on exhibit at Pat’s Cafe in Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco.

His featured painting, “Puget Sound,” in oils on linen is a framed 30 x 40 and is for sale. See his online portfolio at http://dgritsenko.com.

Gritsenko said he knows he’s up against steep odds when it comes to making it as an artist, but he’s hopeful.

“The probability of an artist becoming professional is about the same as a basketball player making it into the NBA,” he said.

Gritsenko showed his art at the 2013 festival in the booth next to Schmalz, and outsold her – she was thrilled.

“His art has come a long way from when he first won the scholarship,” Schmalz said. “His work looks European to me, very painterly. It’s very mature for someone so young. He’s very, very talented.”

Schmalz said a contest was held this year because every painter in the guild has already been featured on a Waterfront Art Festival poster.

“I want to see these [scholarship winners] making money, winning contests,” she said. “I want them to feel the success there is in being an artist.”

The Mukilteo Arts Guild, founded in 2004, supports the arts and artists in Mukilteo by hosting annual art, literature and music festivals.

Rosehill Community Center is at 304 Lincoln Ave. Free parking is available in the community center’s upper and lower lots.

For more information, call 425-423-0450 or visit www.mukilteoarts.org.

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