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Poulsbo Art Festival’s 21st year a success

POULSBO — The Poulsbo Arts Festival painted its way into Little Norway’s Waterfront Park for three days this weekend, with specialty wares and craft demonstrations out in full array. And not even rainy weather could deter area art lovers from supporting creativity, as crowds arrived in full force Friday afternoon to kick off the Cultural Arts Foundation Northwest’s 21st celebration of the finer side of life.

“It went really well,” said CAFNW president Greg Enright. “People were very pleased.”

Enright said despite Sunday’s rainy weather, so many “true Northwesterners” with umbrellas and baseball caps stayed to shop at vendors’ booths that none of them packed up early. From carvers to painters to jewelry makers, the positive consensus from this year’s artisans proved changing the festival from a two-day to a three-day run was a hit.

“They always have an interesting selection and quality,” Seattle resident Charlotte Eidlin said of this year’s vendors. “It’s great down here by the water.”

Eidlin said she stopped through Poulsbo knowing the festivities would be underway, and especially enjoyed the pottery and paintings. A pottery demonstration, as well as a weaving display, was produced for crowds on Saturday.

Also making a presence at the festival was eclectic jazz and blues band Stickshift Annie with Kimball and the Fugitives. Liberty Bay Dance Works and various local musicians also made a show.

Other vendors in attendance included Anacortes-based Beveled Reflections, Tillondsia Air Plants, The Bead Garden, Hood Canal Yarns, Inc. and Rainshadow Studios, which offered a collection of hand carved and painted walking sticks and bottle stoppers.

“It’s been very busy,” said CAFNW board member Wendy Hampton. She and board member Pat Keim-Strayer, both six-year veterans of the event, manned the raffle sale, which raised nearly $200 for artistic scholarships.

Artist Leah Wong, formerly of Port Orchard, sold pieces from her jewelry line at the festival and said the event creates all kinds of opportunities for local artists, including helping to get their work in local galleries.

“A number of our artists are now being supported in local galleries,” Enright said. “It gives our vendors really good exposure.”

He said purchasing pieces of art from vendors themselves allows people to learn the artist’s history and gain a better appreciation for what they buy. Enright added that for CAFNW, spreading art appreciation and sustaining the presence of artists and galleries in the area is what their mission is all about. Providing a venue for artists to be seen by gallery owners is just one of the event’s many bonuses.

“That’s really neat,” he said

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