The hunt is on for colorful slugs in Kingston

KINGSTON — First thoughts when the words “slug hunt” come up might be to grab the gardening shoes and go stomping. But in the North Kitsap art community, the Slug Hunt has become a favorite fundraiser and a way to expose the community to local artists.

In 2009, Harv Kolln was one of the artists from a gallery in Kingston trying to think of a way to better advertise their gallery and artwork.

“I said slugs, they said ‘Eww,’ and I said, ‘That’s a good reaction,’” Kolln said, remembering the meeting with the other artists.

Now in its fourth year, artists, art students and community members were invited to decorate 8-inch ceramic slugs, which are then hidden around Kingston.

“The slugs are extraordinary. There is such as a thing as an elegant slug,” Kolln said.

The Slug Hunt also spawned the Kitsap Artists Slug Scholarship group, which donates all the money raised to a scholarship for a Kitsap student. The scholarship expanded from North Kitsap students, now available to any Kitsap school student, including the Northwest College of Art and Design.

While submitting artwork is a part of the scholarship application, the student does not necessarily have to study art in college.

The winner receives $1,500 and a spot in a local gallery to display his or her artwork for a month. This year, since the event has been growing, Kolln said there might be two scholarships this year.

After acquiring the Slug Hunting License, beginning at 9 a.m. Saturday, hunters can pick up their map and comb through the town, searching for the slugs.

About 25 local businesses have sponsored some of the 300 slugs; some businesses will have slugs on display at their business during the hunt, Colleen Carey, executive director for the Kingston Chamber said. The Slug Hunt Police will hide the slugs the night before “in the wild.”

At 6 p.m., Bluewater Artworks in Poulsbo will host an auction for the remaining slugs on display, at 19861 Front St.

To participate in the hunt, contact Carey at (360) 297-3813 or


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