Playtime: Activities to nurture your kids’ artistic side

A submission to the Little Free Art Gallery in downtown Edmonds.

Having a kid who wants to try a little bit of every extracurricular activity is often helpful for me in doing this column as I am exposed to many more options to share. Most of the time when he’s moved on from one activity to the next, there is an option in Edmonds, if not next door. Currently, this kid is into a couple of different artistic mediums — drawing and photography. There are options via Edmonds Parks and Rec, at RecZone.org to take camps for digital photography, stop motion movies, fine arts, and more. If your budding artist has aged out of those options or is a little more free form, there are local options to participate in community art events and to celebrate Pride Month.

In April, the Free Little Art Gallery popped up at 623 Main Street in Edmonds. This gallery is for everyone, as illustrated in their Instagram Bio “Make Art. Leave Art. Take Art.” FLAG’s curator assured me that you don’t have to leave anything to take something home. The gallery gets “sculptures, paintings, handmade cards, collages, and all sorts of mixed media works,” including art of all levels from kids and sometimes doodles on the back of Leftcraft receipts. While a lot of the art is local, offerings have come from Mukilteo, Everett, Vancouver and as far away as Texas! FLAG has also had some Edmonds Rocks activity! Artists paint rocks and place them around Edmonds for those who find them to keep and rehide, but definitely to post on the Edmonds Rocks Facebook page. You can see updated pictures at Instagram/com/FreeLittleArtGalleryEdmonds or visit the gallery at 623 Main Street.

The Edmonds Photomarathon sponsored by the Edmonds Rotary will be held on Saturday, June 12th from 10am to 4pm. The event kicks off with the announcement of the six topics/themes at 10am, which can be found on a Zoom get together, on Facebook, or on EdmondsPhotomarathon.com – previous themes have included “green,” “beside,” “marvelous,” and “out of place.” Participants, who can use a digital camera or smartphone, “will have 6 hours to interpret the 6 themes in photos.” All photos must be taken on the day of the competition and only one photo per theme will be accepted, but it is not required to submit an image for each. Registration for the event is $25 and will benefit Rotary Club of Edmonds projects and scholarships. Prizes will be given to the top photographers for each theme with winners announced at a reception planned for when it is safe to gather. We will have a tween participating this year and I checked out the website, EdmondsPhotomarathon.com — it has examples of past winning images, detailed rules and a link to register.

The way we are supporting the current drawing interest in our house, spurred by an art elective, is some low-key fun trips to ARTspot Edmonds. We buy a pencil with a fancy name, or a double-barrel sharpener for the fancy pencil and a sketch book and walk around and look at all the options and talk to the creative employees who make him feel included even though he is just occasionally drawing birds for fun. ARTspot Edmonds does have more options for artists; they currently have a Summer Watercolor Challenge! While this isn’t necessarily a kids activity, I know some talented tween/teens that might enjoy it and definitely some ‘rents that would. You can buy the kit for 30 Postcards in 30 Days that has everything you need to participate at ARTspot as they combine “a classic daily challenge with the joyful anticipation of getting something fun in the mail.” They will “create a “Community Bucket” of address labels of participating artists” if you want to mail out your masterpieces or you can keep them for yourself! You can sign up for the challenge in-person, online or by phone at 425-640-6408.

On June 19 at noon, ARTspot Edmonds is offering a Free Artist Meet Up: Paint by Postcard & Edmonds Sketchers at City Park. The event, which will also include the store’s Edmonds Sketchers group, will give Summer Watercolor Challenge artists a chance to meet up and “enjoy painting or sketching in the sun!” For more information on either group or to buy your challenge kit, you can visit ARTspotEdmonds.com.

In May, the Edmonds School District had read-alouds on Facebook for Asian/Pacific Islander/Native Hawaiian American month, and now they are doing read-alouds to “highlight leaders and the history of the 2SLGBTQIA+ community.” There are already a few stories posted on Facebook.com/EdmondsSchools, but they are still looking for readers to record themselves to be featured during Pride Month. Those interested can sign up at bit.ly/PrideMonthReadAloud. The district is also looking for art submissions sharing your pride. They will be collecting digital copies of art until Monday, June 14 and then adding them to their slide show. You can find their most recent video posted from Rainbow clubs in Edmonds on the sign-up Google form at https://forms.gle/Lobe28XibiJ9gkDeA.

— By Jennifer Marx

Jen Marx, an Edmonds mom of two boys, is always looking for a fun place to take the kids that makes them tired enough to go to bed on time.

 

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