Color me indigo: Art Walk Edmonds is always interesting

By James Spangler | Dec 14, 2016
Courtesy of: Whitney Buckingham-Beechie Whitney Buckingham-Beechie’s “A Leap of Faith” can be seen at Christopher Framing and Gallery in Edmonds.

If you didn't already know about Art Walk Edmonds, you'd probably wonder what in the world was causing all the commotion downtown on a Thursday night. I’ve even had people walk up to me on the street and ask, “Is something going on?”

Yep, something is most definitely going on.

In past months, I've seen flash mobs, belly dancers closing down Main Street, a pop-up forge, Elvis, countless musicians and performance artists of every description. On any given month, half a dozen artist demos are underway.

You're certain to find something interesting going on every third Thursday evening of the month, with over 40 businesses, galleries and restaurants participating. It’s an opportunity for (mostly) local artists to showcase their varied and wonderful art.

I wouldn't be at all surprised if you were able to check off a few things on your holiday shopping list.

Rachel Dobbins, who for the last couple of years has helped to create the impressive map available to guide art walkers, also took over the coordinator position in August.

“I'm enjoying taking a more visible role as coordinator,” Dobbins said. She hopes to continue building on the great work of her predecessors. There’s talk of more mural projects, a sculpture loan program and continuing the wildly popular wine walk.

She’s currently working with several restaurants to create some “After AWE” deals, which have drawn some interest from hungry art lovers.

In every corner of downtown, artists will be displaying their work.

If you happen to walk into Christopher Framing and Gallery, for instance, you might encounter 30 or so pieces produced by local artist Whitney Buckingham-Beechie. Her recent focus is born of her renewed fascination with Indigo dye.

Although indigo dye is often associated with fabric art, Buckingham-Beechie creates panels in sizes varying from 10-by-10 inches to 3-by-4 feet. “I wish all dyes were this great,” she said. “The pigment, the saturation, is extraordinary.”

Working with indigo presents specific challenges.

“I produce some large pieces, so I’ve been mixing 20 gallons of dye at a time,” Buckingham-Beechie said. “After that, I have a very busy couple of days. Indigo dye is alive, like a yeast or yogurt culture. If you're careful with it, you can get it to last five days. I don't work that way – I get pretty rambunctious – and the Indigo bloom tends to last 2 or 3 days with me. When I work with Indigo, it's sort of like a dance, I try to pay attention to where the indigo wants to go.”

It’s a playful and splashy process, requiring a certain amount of spontaneity and generating new ideas and questions so fast that she can't keep up. Gallery owner Michael Christopher has dubbed the show “What If,” for Buckingham-Beechie’s curiosity.

“I'm constantly chasing new ideas – like Alice diving down the rabbit hole,” said Buckingham-Beechie, who has an indigo workshop planned later this month. Visit her website at or, better yet, drop in to Christopher on art walk night.

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