Earlier this year, the Yakima Arts Commission, an advisory group appointed by the Yakima City Council, developed an idea to harness the creativity of Central Washington artists to help invigorate windows of empty downtown storefronts by displaying their work as part of a new project called, “Windows Alive!”. Based on similar projects that have proven successful in other cities, “Windows Alive!” is part of an ongoing effort to bring new life and activity to Downtown Yakima.
Following a submission and evaluation process that took place earlier this summer, seven outstanding artists from the region were chosen to be part of the inaugural “Windows Alive!” exhibition, which will run from September 28th through January 3rd. To kickoff the project’s first exhibition, a reception will be held on Saturday, September 28th from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm on the first floor of the JEM Building located at 321 East Yakima Avenue. The seven artists chosen to display their work through January 3rd will be on hand at the reception to talk about their pieces and to help explain the concept of the “Windows Alive!” project.
“Empty windows in unoccupied storefronts send a message that isn’t very positive,” said Yakima Arts Commission Member Cheryl Hahn. “The idea behind ‘Windows Alive!’ is to fill those storefront windows with beautiful art and create a more engaging and vibrant environment downtown. The project also gives local artists a wonderful opportunity to showcase their work,” said Hahn.
The seven artists who were chosen to help launch “Windows Alive!”, each of whom received a $250 stipend, are Andy Behrle, Mindy Clark, Delma Tayer, Carolyn Nelson, W. D. Frank, Denise Risley, and Yesenia Navarrete Hunter. After the first displays complete their four-month run in January, they will be replaced with a new set of displays that will go up in February. The Arts Commission plans on continuing the project on an ongoing basis.
In addition to the contributions made to the project by the Yakima Arts Commission, support has also been provided by the City of Yakima, JEM Development, Inc., Doug and Laurie Kanyer, Stems, John Gasperetti, Action Window Cleaning, Andy Granitto, David Lynx, the Yakima Bindery, Mike McMurray, and the Yakima Valley Visitors & Convention Center.
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Yakima Arts Commission Member Cheryl Hahn – 697-3148
Communications & Public Affairs Director Randy Beehler – 901-1142