“Skagit River,” a pastel by Vicki Johnson, is one of the works that will be for sale at this weekend’s Art in Legion Park in Arlington.

“Skagit River,” a pastel by Vicki Johnson, is one of the works that will be for sale at this weekend’s Art in Legion Park in Arlington.

Arlington’s annual art fest features 30 artists and artisans

Now in its 11th year, Art in Legion Park offers fine arts and crafts, live music and kids’ activities.

Artist Vicki Johnson considers Arlington’s annual fine arts and crafts festival in Legion Park “a small gem of a show.”

While Camano Island is known as an artist and artisan’s haven, she said many have yet to discover Arlington’s artistic tradition.

“We have some really talented people in this area,” Johnson said.

Johnson plans to bring some 40 of her acrylic paintings to the Art in Legion Park show this Saturday and Sunday.

Joining her will be artists and artisans like Nan Clute, known for her “dogdannas,” which are bandanas for dogs, and Tonie Arabi, with her collection of colorful dichroic glass cut into shapes such as dragonflies, hearts and dogs.

This is the 11th year for the Arlington Arts Council event, which since its inception has been coordinated by Roberta Baker.

One of the biggest concerns this year is weather, following last weekend’s thunderstorms and periodic heavy rainfall this week. “We always have fairly decent weather,” Baker said. “Pray for no rain.”

Johnson said in the decade she’s shown her work at the event, “we’ve never gone home mid-show. We all huddle with a cup of coffee and wait for the rain to quit.”

In addition to the works of 30 artists and artisans, there will be live music.

David Lee Howard, a singer who plays 12-string guitar, will perform 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturday.

Greg Parke will play from 1:30 to 4 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Sunday morning. “He performs a very wide genre of music, from country to ‘50s, ‘60s, and ‘70s music, as well as blues music,” Baker said. “Good dancing music.”

Ron Thorardson will play from 1:30 to 4 p.m. Sunday, performing French and Gypsy-style jazz.

In addition to bandanas for dogs, Clute makes what she calls “grace wraps” — double-wrapped bracelets with all-natural stones weaved into hemp.

“Those two items sell themselves,” Clute said.

She said two types of customers are drawn to her creations: Those who say, “Oh, dog stuff!” and those who say, “I’ve never seen anything like this before — it’s woven and very different.”

Arabi creates dichroic-coated glass by adding at least 30 layers of powders to the glass which, when fired, creates rainbow-like hues. She then cuts the glass with a laser into designs of dragonflies, hearts, dogs, hummingbirds and salmon.

From start to finish, the process takes seven to 10 days. “It’s labor-intensive, but a labor of love,” Arabi said.

Johnson’s acrylic “Skagit River” is inspired by an afternoon she spent sitting on the river’s banks near Mount Vernon.

“It was hot and the shade across the bank from the trees looked so nice,” she said. The river that day had a color she describes as jewel-toned.

When you go to an art show, you’ll often see a number of creations you like, but nearly always see one or two “that hits you in the gut — it evokes a gut emotional reaction,” Johnson said.

“Painting for me is emotional and joyous. That’s what I hope to trigger.”

Sharon Salyer: 425-339-3486 or salyer@heraldnet.com.

If you go

Art in Legion Park is 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sept. 14, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sept. 15, Legion Park, 114 N. Olympic Ave. With art, kids activities and live music. Go to tinyurl.com/ARLArtinPark for more information.

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