Edmonds arts fest marks its 50th year

When you do something for almost 40 years, you’re bound to accumulate a lot of memories.

Potter Sam Scott has lots of them about the Edmonds Arts Festival, where he’s shown his work and sold his pots since 1970 and where he will return when the three-day festival opens today.

There was that one year, Scott recalled, when the craft person drove a car into Scott’s booth and broke about 500 pots.

Then there was the year it rained so hard that water gushed like a fountain and Scott feared his pots, tables and wheel would all wash away.

And Scott remembered that in 1977, he had a piece that won the festival’s Purchase Award.

Scott, of Shoreline, said he might have missed two years of the festival because of his children’s graduations, but has kept coming back to the Edmonds Arts Festival because the people care. “Sure, they want a variety but they also want good art,” he said in a phone interview last week.

This year, Scott, 54, returns to Edmonds with some new pieces and some of his signature-style brushwork pottery.

“I enjoy doing it, it’s what I do and it looks like me,” Scott said.

He works mostly in porcelain, in forms that are defined by functional simplicity. The white surfaces of each piece are decorated with abstract designs in blues, browns and grays. Scott has also been exploring a new style, contrasting a white porcelain surface with a matte black glaze. This black glaze comes off as so flat, the effect looks warm.

The Edmonds Arts Festival is a juried festival and all artists must pass a screening to get in. Scott keeps passing the test, which he said is a testament to the quality of the art.

“It’s a Northwest show, so you want people who are known as Northwest artists,” Scott said. “There’s obviously a level of quality because they want their fair to be as good as it can be.”

This is the 50th year for the Edmonds Arts Festival, and that pursuit to be the best has paid off. This festival is known among artists and patrons as one of the best in the area.

The festival has also always been run by volunteers. More than 400 of them. So this year, the festival is dedicated to the volunteers with the motto: “50 Years of Volunteers,” said Suzanne Jones, president of the festival’s board of directors, who is in her 28th year as a volunteer.

“The artists just love our festival because of the volunteers,” Jones said.

Jones works as a dental hygienist but was raised in the belief that giving back to the community was what you did. And she raised her children that way.

One of her sons volunteered for the festival when he was 26 and met his future wife there. The two have been married for 13 years and have been co-presidents of the board for two years, Jones said.

Scott summed up what volunteers have meant to the festival: “From the aspect of the volunteers, these things don’t happen without them.”

Arts writer Theresa Goffredo: 425-339-3424 or goffredo@heraldnet.com.

ABOVE: Porcelain Pitcher with Brushwork, Sam Scott

Molly Bennett photo

LEFT: Edmonds Arts Festival participant Sam Scott in his studio.

A painting by Diane Culhane

“She Sleeps in the Sand,” William Vanscoy

A work by glass artist Maurice Kreuzer

Work by fabric artist Dan Wyatt

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