WS culture/arts 2200 results

West Seattle music teacher chosen to compete on ‘The Voice’

If you watch “The Voice,” you might not realize that one of this season’s artists is a West Seattle music teacher! Phil Gustavson from School of Rock-West Seattle shares the news about Payge Turner:

(Photo by: Tyler Golden/NBC)

Seattle musician and School of Rock West Seattle teacher Payge Turner wowed the coaches during her blind auditions on season 19 of NBC’s The Voice and joined Team Gwen! Originally from Trinidad and Tobago, Payge has lived and performed in the Seattle area for a few years and teaches part-time at The School of Rock in West Seattle. An electric performer, Payge sings and plays keyboards and guitar. She is known for her emotion-filled vocals and her passionate approach to singing and teaching.

Still an independent artist, Payge’s music can be found on Spotify, YouTube and other outlets. Visit her website at for more information.

:”The Voice” is a musical-competition show that airs on NBC Monday and Tuesday nights. Here’s how it works.

Highland Park Improvement Club’s new streetside art revives streetcar memories

(Seattle Municipal Archives photo of what’s described as the Highland Park-Burien line’s Hillside Station – possibly in Riverview – 1915)

What is currently a busy bridge-detour route now, with thousands of cars passing each day, held trolley tracks a century ago, and Highland Park Improvement Club is honoring that with its newest streetside sandwich-board art. The four boards, installed this afternoon along SW Holden east of 12th SW, say this to westbound drivers/riders/passersby:

Those traveling eastbound will see H-P-I-C.

And yes, the boards are secured:

The artists also put together the display we showed you back in August.

The streetcars that traveled nearby were part of the Highland Park-Lake Burien Railroad, in service from 1912-1929.

FALL FUN: Mode Music & Performing Arts classes now ready for signups

That video shows a sample of what kids can learn, perform, and enjoy with Mode Music and Performing Arts classes this fall – here’s the announcement:

We are excited to offer a full roster of music, theatre, art, and dance classes for all ages! There are two ways to learn with MMPA this Fall: a full schedule of live online classes and pre-recorded video lessons that give you the flexibility to experience our lessons when it’s convenient for you.

Information on rates, classes, and scheduling is available at:

Please ask about our partial and full scholarships!

You can also donate to our programming and support our nonprofit so we can continue to provide education and offer our scholarships in this time of limited funding.

Mode Music and Performing Arts is a nonprofit arts organization offering innovative arts-education programs promoting confidence, social awareness, equity and empathy in our students and community.

Here are flyers to check out – recorded classes here, live classes here. (Mode is the sibling organization of longtime WSB sponsor Mode Music Studios.)

‘Stay Inside the Lines’: West Seattle artist’s project grows with benefit coloring book

“Stay Inside the Lines” started as a project to offer free coloring pages, created by area artists, to enable more artistic expression by kids during the pandemic. The organizer is a Gatewood resident, Galen Driver, who tells WSB the project is now growing into a full-scale coloring book, with sales to benefit kids in a second way:

At the start of quarantine in March I noticed a lot of parents at work complaining the schools were not providing art activities and they were running out of things for their children to color. I’d also seen a staggering stat about adult coloring books and mental health. I decided to pull together a bunch of local artist friends to create a bunch of free print-at-home coloring pages under the project name Stay Inside The Lines Seattle. After launching, I continued adding more new pages and artists and got a lot of press around the project, driving thousands of downloads.

I’ve recently partnered with ArtsEd Washington to launch the ‘Color for the Arts Fund,’ dedicated to providing art supplies for local Title 1 schools with high numbers or percentages of children living in low-income households which tend to be predominantly BIPOC communities. To launch the fund, we’ve put physical copies of the coloring book up for pre-sale, donating one book for each book sold along with 100% of profits to the art supplies fund.

To pre-order the benefit book, go here. You can also still explore the Stay Inside the Lines site to find free downloadable coloring pages right now, and to see the list of contributing artists (you’ve probably already some of their work, Galen notes, around West Seattle).

Fauntleroy Fine Art & Holiday Gift Show, online this year – right now!

Another way to support local arts/crafts creators, who also have been hard-hit by the pandemic, while doing early holiday shopping – Judy Pickens sends word that what would usually be an in-person event is happening online this year, and it’s already begun!

COVID has edited but not deleted the Fauntleroy Fine Art & Holiday Gift Show from the calendar of community activities at Fauntleroy Church, United Church of Christ. The show that has been an annual fall event for more than a decade is happening online this year, through November 30.

Visit the church website to see samples and details from each of the 13 participants, including SML Design (handcrafted home-decor products), Tom Costantini (below – watercolors), Johanna Lindsay (above – woven earrings/pendants), and Angel Luna (skincare products).

Entries include websites to see more and contact information to purchase directly from the artist or crafter.

WEST SEATTLE ART: Local rock superstar on signal box

Thanks to the texter who sent the photo! That’s the latest signal-box portrait by West Seattle artist Desmond Hansen, this time celebrating local rock superstar Eddie Vedder. It’s at 35th/Webster, on the corner by Best of Hands Barrelhouse (WSB sponsor). You can scroll through our 2 1/2 years of coverage of his other local work here.

P.S. Vedder and his bandmates are featured by The New York Times today for their get-out-the-vote work.

WEST SEATTLE ART: Peninsula’s biggest pencil, back on display

Thanks to Gary and Karl at Potter Construction (WSB sponsor) for sending word (and pictures) about the return of the giant pencil that marks their headquarters at 5606 California SW. Gary explains, “We took it down to repair and repaint when they scheduled to paint the building. We just got it back and it looks great!!”

The tune-up was by the 13 1/2-foot-long pencil’s creator, artist Stephen Rock. It was originally created for a juried show in 2010, then installed outside Potter HQ in 2011 .

West Seattle Art Walk night, in-person and online

That’s Natalie Millsap, featured artist at Verity Credit Union (4505 California; WSB sponsor), where you can meet her until 8 pm tonight as part of the West Seattle Art Walk. She’s a painter and printmaker from Bellingham, and Art Walk organizers note, “Her screen-printed clothing has a growing cult following around the U.S., leading to her brand name Cult of Nat.” The Art Walk update on other participating venues is here, from Admiral to Morgan Junction. Look for the sign:

As explained in the WSAW list, some art displays are up all month – so you can enjoy art even if you’re not able to get out tonight.

SUNDAY LISTENING: West Seattleites create ‘My Aunt Is a Nun’ podcast

Looking for something new to listen to? West Seattle residents Megan Bell and Keri Watson are producing a podcast called My Aunt Is a Nun.” Bell hosts the podcast, describing it this way:

Nuns offer more than just prayers; they are steeped in wisdom and impart powerful lessons for the present moment. To make sense of the nonsense, I turned to my aunt, a Catholic nun, and the Sisters in her community. Join me … as we make pancakes, watch Netflix, tweet, sit still, seek, and sing to song birds. The veils are off as we explore everything from anxiety to intimacy, prayer to politics, and poverty to justice.

Sound editor Charlie Spears works on the podcast too. Watson says they wanted to let the community know about “My Aunt Is a Nun” because “we are in love with the concept behind the podcast and so much heart went into it.” They’ve produced five episodes so far; you can find them here.

Guitar lessons with Richie Jenkin: Welcome back, West Seattle Blog sponsor!

Today we welcome back Richie Jenkin, a longtime West Seattle guitar teacher, as a WSB sponsor.

Richie has been teaching guitar for more than 30 years: “In my teaching, I specialize in beginning and intermediate students of all ages. I like to teach songs and pieces you will enjoy from the very beginning of your learning experience.”

Richie’s instruction has taken a turn due to the pandemic. He’s now offering virtual guitar lessons, lessons you can take right in your own home. With the kids at home Richie says the virtual lessons can be a great way to extend your child’s learning and foster a love of music. He also thinks virtual lessons are great for grownups ready to take up a new challenge.

While he works with kids as young as six, Richie says more than two-thirds of his students are adults. His average student is someone who has owned a guitar for some time, but needs someone to work with, to get some structure on how to play. As he points out, it’s structure that’s personalized to each student: “I take my teaching seriously. By that I mean that I take the time to prepare for each lesson. I look at what we’ve been doing; the pace of things; what you want to be learning; your particular way of learning; and what I think is best for a particular lesson to make sure your playing is coming along in a way you can be confident and enthusiastic about. So it¹s not just about showing you something new every week and then out the door. If the music is going to be rewarding, exhilarating, and fun, then I better be doing my part to make it so.”

Richie specializes in beginners and intermediate students. He has teaching slots open for fall, so if you’re interested, contact Richie at 206-799-7432.

We thank Richie Jenkin for sponsoring independent, community-collaborative neighborhood news via WSB; find our current sponsor team listed in directory format here, and find info on joining the team by going here.

HELPING: Art cars visiting West Seattle seniors

The pandemic has been tough for everyone – but especially for seniors, whose vulnerability to COVID-19 has meant isolation at a time of life when connection is more important than ever. So today, organized by the city’s Lifelong Recreation program, “art cars” are journeying to several senior-living centers and care facilities in West Seattle to spread some joy.

We caught up with them as they got ready to head out from the West Seattle Thriftway (WSB sponsor) lot in Morgan Junction at mid-morning.

This isn’t an official public-viewing event for health/safety reasons – but the stops along the “parade” route had advance notice, of course.

After leaving Thriftway, over the span of about two hours, they were scheduled to visit The Mount, Brookdale West Seattle, Westwood Heights, and The Kenney.

If “art cars” are new to you – here’s a bit of background.

Nine years ago, they had a meetup in West Seattle.

‘From Here,’ co-produced by West Seattle filmmaker, premieres Friday

That’s the trailer for “From Here,” co-produced by West Seattle filmmaker Amy Benson. Its Seattle premiere starts on-demand tomorrow (Friday) during Northwest Film Forum’s Local Sightings Film Festival. Here’s what it’s about:

… Filmed over the better part of a decade in two of the world’s largest immigration countries – the U.S. and Germany – “From Here” captures an international generation’s fight for belonging in an era of rising nationalism.

Set in Berlin and New York, “From Here” interweaves the stories of Tania, Miman, Sonny, and Akim – artists and activists raised in the Global North to parents from the Global South. The film accompanies them as they move from their 20’s into their 30’s, facing major turning points: fighting for citizenship, creating a family, surviving violence, and finding creative expression. …

We spotlighted Benson’s award-winning film “Drawing the Tiger” five years ago; it was the first of a documentary trilogy that she continues working on. “From Here,” she says, is a “hopeful story … a powerful documentary that says: ‘everyone has the right to belong’.”

“From Here” will be available for viewing on-demand Friday-Sunday; pay-what-you-can tickets are available through the festival website. The film is also part of a lorger educational initiative you can learn about here.

WEST SEATTLE ART: New mural celebrating history

(WSB photo)

Thanks to Joey for the tip – a new mural in progress on the west-facing upper wall at Courtesy Tire in The Junction. We went over to check it out and discovered that the artist is prolific West Seattle-based muralist Desmond Hansen. He was finishing up for the day when we stopped by, but told us the mural will also include portraits, including the business’s founder. (It’s been open for more than half a century.)

WEST SEATTLE ART: Restoration work begins for another mural

At the corner of California/Oregon in The Junction, muralist Bob Henry has started work on the next West Seattle mural restoration. This time it’s “Bank Day,” on the north-facing side of the Chase building (which, by the way, has been a bank since its 1952 dedication as a Washington Mutual branch). Henry tells WSB he’ll be working on this one for “four or five” days, and it’s weather-dependent, so that might stretch out a while. The mural was painted by Alan Wylie, one of 11 murals created ~30 years ago. Of the nine remaining at their original locations, this is the sixth to be extensively renovated. While the mural-restoration project kicked into high gear with philanthropy seed money two years ago, donations will get it to the finish line – you can assist by going here.

ALSO ONLINE TONIGHT: Ethiopian Community in Seattle celebration

Thanks to Brenda for sending this:

With all the smoke and people staying inside today, I wanted to share another online event that is happening this evening. The Ethiopian Community in Seattle is having a virtual event tonight to replace their annual gala. Yesterday was Ethiopian New Year; Ethiopians follow the Coptic calendar, which is 7 years behind the Julian calendar, making it the year 2013.

There will be entertainment, and admission to the event is free. We have a sizable Ethiopian population in West Seattle so wanted to pass this along.

The event link is here. If you choose to donate, you can do that here.

Scenes from September 2020’s West Seattle Art Walk

September 10, 2020 5:14 pm
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 |   West Seattle Art Walk | West Seattle news | WS culture/arts

5:14 PM: Indoor, outdoor, online – including the video playlist above – you have multiple ways to enjoy tonight’s West Seattle Art Walk! Participating venues and artists are spotlighted on the WSAW website – times and locations vary. We’re headed out to check on a few in-person stops – coverage to come.

5:44 PM: Outdoor stop! Ginny Conrow at Brace Point Pottery:

BPP is the southernmost stop on the Art Walk, 42nd/100th in Arbor Heights.

6:07 PM: Verity Credit Union (4505 California; WSB sponsor) is open until 8 pm, featuring 19-year-old artist Saiyana Suzumura:

Saiyana is quoted on the Art Walk website: “One day after drawing one of my friends, I just began to draw all kinds of black women, and black people in general, amongst other ethnics who are not portrayed beautifully in this society, but I want to capture the beauty of black beauty and love in my art. Since drawing with my new found style I’ve explored other ways of communicating social awareness through my drawings and paintings. I want my art to empower my people.”

P.S. Verity is a hybrid indoor/outdoor stop tonight – while it’s indoors, the entire front of the branch is open-air (folding doors).

TONIGHT: West Seattle Art Walk, from Admiral to Arbor Heights – and online!

September 10, 2020 9:40 am
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 |   West Seattle Art Walk | West Seattle businesses | West Seattle news | WS culture/arts

It’s the second Thursday of September, so tonight’s the night to celebrate the end of summer with one more indoor/outdoor/online West Seattle Art Walk. As listed on the official WSAW website, 12 venues – from Admiral to Arbor Heights – are participating – including WSB sponsors Click! Design That Fits (4540 California SW, in-person), Verity Credit Union (4505 California SW, in-person), and Canna West Culture Shop (5440 California SW, online). You can scroll through the online artist gallery now – or go here around the official Art Walk start time, 5 pm, to see the YouTube playlist. The Art Walk has been steadily building back – if your business is interested in participating next quarter, here’s how.

HOLIDAY MUSIC: From the bridge to the ridge

Thanks for and videos from two local musical performances on Labor Day:

UNDER THE BRIDGE: Every so often, you might notice someone playing under the bridge, west of the 5-way. If it’s an entire band – it’s probably Felonious Monk:

Rose Feliciano sent the pic and video after spotting them playing last night:

As the short clip shows, the band even drew a bit of an audience, despite the location.

ON PUGET RIDGE: Thanks to Lisa Kauffman for photos and video from a performance at Puget Ridge Edible Park on Labor Day afternoon:

Thaddeus Spae and Richard Dean were the featured musicians, with a guest turn by Stu Hennessey:

Here’s video of Spae:

If you haven’t been to PREP – check out our August story!

THEATER: West Seattleite to direct ‘Everyone Wants to Love Your Beating Heart,’ online

With health restrictions putting much of the performing-arts world on hold because of the pandemic, some artists are finding new ways to express themselves anyway. West Seattleite Kelly McMahon is about to direct a play you can see live online starting this Friday. Here’s the announcement:

Playlist Seattle and Trial and Error Productions are pleased to announce the online revival of Everyone Wants to Love Your Beating Heart, a full-length theatrical production inspired by Temple of the Dog’s eponymous album.

Originally staged in 2016, Director and Playlist Founder Kelly McMahon and playwright Stacy D. Flood return to the play in this time of social distancing to explore the connection that is possible through music and to answer the questions: how can we find ways to relate to one another without occupying the same physical space? How can we do that through music? And through theater? While traditional theater spaces and music venues aren’t available to us, this production melds performance with live video manipulation via digital platforms to bring actors and audiences together.

Everyone Wants to Love Your Beating Heart is about overcoming isolation using the songs of Temple of the Dog as a jumping-off point for exploring our connection to music despite time and distance. The characters alternately relate and repel as they consider the songs they all know and love in the space music creates. The cast includes Joe Glass, Christopher Martinez, Sarah Lockard, Garrett Dill, Liz Vital, and Bjorn A. Whitney, working from their living rooms across the country.

Since its founding in 2014, Playlist Seattle has created original plays and performance pieces inspired by a range of Seattle bands, from legends like Jimi Hendrix, Alice in Chains and Nirvana, to current artists performing in the scene today, such as such as Ayron Jones, Whitney Mongé, Prom Queen and The Black Tones. Trial and Error was founded in 2013 to present inclusive and thought-provoking productions for a wide range of audiences by supporting visual artists, writers, and performers of the Puget Sound region and beyond.

“Everyone Wants to Love Your Beating Heart — a play inspired by Temple of the Dog” will be streamed live via Zoom on September 11, 12, 17, and 18. Tickets for the show are available at Admission is $10-35 with proceeds going to MusiCares and Road Recovery. More information about the show and Playlist Seattle at

MUSIC: How to sing with Endolyne Children’s Choir, virtually!

As school starts virtually, so do some other activities – even choir! That video from Endolyne Children’s Choir shows a virtual performance from this past summer. Here’s the announcement of how to join this fall:

Endolyne Children’s Choir – West Seattle’s community choir since 2003 – kicks off their 2020-2021 season with our Fall Session beginning on Tuesday, September 8th. Sessions will be held virtually on Zoom this session, so it is a great opportunity for new singers from all over Seattle and beyond, from kindergarten to High School, to join our fun and welcoming non-audition choir. Singers in kindergarten through 2nd Grade rehearse from (updated) 5 to 5:45 PM, 3rd through 5th graders rehearse from 5:45 to 6:45, and singers 6th through 12th grade rehearse from 7:00 to 8:30. Registration is open right now! For more information and to register, visit

Our Music Director Megan McCormick and Staff Instructor Janelle Maroney have planned a fantastic session of virtual music education, building on the success and lessons learned from our (unexpected) online Spring Musicals session. They will provide engaging, challenging online instruction, coupled with interactive opportunities for singers to build friendships and have fun together. We are working on opportunities for our singers to spread cheer throughout the holiday season with virtual performances and other ways of connecting remotely with our larger community.

Quality musical education is so important and essential for children, and we want every child to have the opportunity to benefit from our program. One benefit of virtual rehearsals: no commuting, so singers from anywhere in Seattle, the greater Puget Sound region, Washington State and beyond can join us for this session.

We are offering several tiers of tuition pricing, from full tuition to full scholarship, so anyone can participate regardless of their financial situation. Simply select your payment tier when registering at

Fall session begins Tuesday, September 8th. Registration ends on September 6th. Please visit for more information.

WEST SEATTLE WEEKEND SCENE: Neighborhood serenade

In this seventh month of the pandemic, neighborhood cheer continues, and we’re always happy to hear about it. Thanks to Judith for sending this video of a neighborhood serenade last night near 41st and Charlestown – klezmer music! Judith ID’d the band as “Samson and the Katz” (anyone with more info on the front-yard concert, please let us know!).

WEST SEATTLE ART: 2 business murals

More new art on businesses’ walls – first, at Westwood Village:

This one is a work in progress, on the south wall of the QFC building, commissioned by mall manager Madison Marquette, which told WSB that the “theme of this is ‘Love where you live’ and is set to celebrate our communities of West Seattle. It is topography based and modern in its look.” Craig Johnson is the artist.

Meantime, in The Junction:

Monika Lidman sent the photo while artist Kevin A. Moore was painting that wall at Uptown Espresso (Edmunds/California/Erskine) earlier this month. She noted, “He’d already repainted the entire building, then created this giant graphic, mapping it all out with a penciled grid, just like the old-timey sign painters. What I loved most was his attitude! He sees this art project as a way to lift up and encourage the neighborhood. It certainly does!”

FOLLOWUP: Bus-shelter mural restored

A couple nights ago, Kay told us about Brooke, working to restore a vandalized bus-shelter mural at 35th/Thistle. Today, Brooke sends an update:

Just wanted to share the (almost) final result. I need to let this dry and then touch up where it was gouged.

Pretty pleased with the progress and hopefully it inspires others in the community and if nothing else is a bit of good news. I had no idea how much this mural meant to folks.