Glass blowing artist Chris Schuelke works on making a glass goblet during a demonstration at the Edmonds Arts Festival in 2015. (Herald file)

Glass blowing artist Chris Schuelke works on making a glass goblet during a demonstration at the Edmonds Arts Festival in 2015. (Herald file)

Edmonds festival to spotlight the art of poetry for first time

The 62-year-old Edmonds Arts Festival returns Friday through Sunday at the Frances Anderson Center.

The Edmonds Arts Festival will add the art of language at this year’s three-day event that begins Friday.

The 62-year-old festival is known for promoting a wide range of artwork from artists near and far. But organizers realized something was missing: poets.

“When you think about art, you think it’s on a wall,” said Ken Carskadon, the festival’s director of marketing and communications. “But art is represented through music, dance, literature and all kinds of other mediums. We’re trying to create a more inclusive experience in that way.”

Nine poets from the Edmonds writers group EPIC (which stands for Every Person Is Creative), will read their short works at 2 p.m. each day of the festival at the Frances Anderson Center. Their poems touch on life, death and nature in the Pacific Northwest.

“Poetry is a way of expressing your view on life and looking back on events that happened, and giving them new meaning,” said Judith Works, president and co-founder of the group. “One can stand in front of a painting and read into it, but it’s good to have a listening experience.”

In addition to poetry, more than 240 artists and artisans, including sculptors, painters, jewelers, potters and photographers, will be set up in booths on the field and plaza outside the Frances Anderson Center. Live music is scheduled all three days in the nearby amphitheater. And don’t forget about the food court, beer and wine grotto and kids’ activities.

More than 350 volunteers are helping make the event possible this year, said Diane Cutts, Edmonds Arts Festival Association president, which is expected to draw over 30,000 people.

“From a person who’s been with this festival for this long, it’s amazing that we do this,” said Cutts, a volunteer for the past 12 years. “It’s wonderful. It really is.”

This year’s festival poster is by Seattle artist Gary Faigin, who serves on the board of directors at Cascadia Art Museum in Edmonds. His painting shows bright flowers in vases, framed by a locomotive in the background. The work is part of Faigin’s “Age of Steam Collection,” now on display at the Edmonds Arts Festival Gallery.

On hand will be more than 20 food and drink vendors, with options such as gyros, strawberry shortcake and tacos. Craft beers and a variety of wines will be served at the grotto.

A children’s art area will be open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday in Room 112 of the center. Supplies will be provided.

Watch artists in action on the plaza. Artists will demonstrate drawing, printmaking, painting, ceramics and jewelry making.

In addition to the visual arts, the festival includes three days of music — including blues, folk and big-band jazz performances — at an outdoor amphitheater.

For more information, including a festival schedule, go to

Evan Thompson: 425-339-3427, Twitter: @ByEvanThompson.

If you go

Edmonds Arts Festival is June 14-16 in and near the Frances Anderson Center, 700 Main St., Edmonds. The free event runs 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. No pets allowed.

Two shuttle buses will provide transportation to the festival. One is near the Port of Edmonds at 336 Admiral Way, and the other at the former Woodway High School at 23200 100th Ave. W. The shuttle runs every 20 minutes.

Art winners

More than 400 juried artworks by artists young and old, plus the winners of this year’s festival arts contest, will be on display at the Frances Anderson Center. Here are the first-place winners by category. Can’t go to the festival? See the award-winning art on the festival website.

Stacy Honda, “The Messenger,” computer art

Philip Carrico, “Ye Olde Ferry Dock,” print

Lyla Jacobsen, “Going Home,” miniatures and small paintings

Bonnie Aubuchon, “Sterling Silver Box With Enamel On Copper Lid,” three dimensional

Junkyu Lee, “Outside The Window,” drawing

Paul Sattler, “Krabi Beach,” painting

Tim Davis, “Goodbye Bremerton,” photography

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