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From dulcimers to beaver sticks, what you’ll see only at the Senior Center holiday bazaar

Paths are cleared to get to the Senior Center of West Seattle door at 4217 SW Oregon, and once you’re inside, you’ll see tables ringing the main hall with items you won’t see anywhere else – like Denise LeBlanc‘s calendars featuring her Northwest-scenery paintings:

Jen Vanderhoof‘s underwater photography gives you an up-close perspective on sea life:

Jen also has “beaver stick” pencils – made from sticks left behind by beavers.

Also crafted from wood, the dulcimers that Norm Zemke is selling:

They’re challenging to make, he explains, requiring “steam bending.” Then there are some repurposed crafts – Tammy Majeski‘s wreaths are made from vintage Christmas ornaments:

Other vendors have handmade apparel, jewelry, and baked goods – you’ll even find “fidget spinners,” This is all happening until 4 pm, which is when The Junction’s festival starts, so go early and catch the bazaar too.

GIVING TUESDAY: Here’s what you can help Mode Music and Performing Arts do

Before we get back to snow coverage – a message about holiday giving. You have ample opportunities throughout the season (we have a list of donation drives in the WSB West Seattle Holiday Guide), but today in particular has become known as Giving Tuesday. Your favorite local nonprofits appreciate community support. Among them, Mode Music and Performing Arts, on a mission to make arts education more accessible to more students. Here’s what they asked us to share with you:

In honor of the global generosity movement Giving Tuesday, and in support of your local West Seattle nonprofit arts education organization, Mode Music and Performing Arts (MMPA) is encouraging folks to sign up for our monthly giving options.

Mode Music and Performing Arts was created as a nonprofit to make arts education more accessible for Seattle’s students.

MMPA’s ability to offer scholarships through a pay-what-you-can model is entirely because of people like you – people who care about kids having access to arts education in school AND out of school. This year, we’ve served 351 students in all of our programs, and we’ve offered over 100 partial and full scholarships! Your gifts help make this possible.

All donations to MMPA support our multiple arts education programs — learn more about them at or donate using the link below!

Listen to our parents and students speak about our MMPA programming.

MMPA is the nonprofit sibling of Mode Music Studios (WSB sponsor). Both are based in North Delridge.

WEST SEATTLE HOLIDAY SCENE: Shopping super-small at C & P Coffee’s craft fair

On this day of emphasis on “shopping small,” here’s one of your chances to buy from individual crafters/artists: Today’s holiday craft fair at C & P Coffee (5612 California SW; WSB sponsor). Among those participating are Karen Johnson, whose drawings explore “the biodiversity of our world … to serve as a reminder to us all that the world is full of many wonders, and we should use it wisely”:

Also there (L-R below) are Jim Dwight with woodwork and Thor Cutler with small stained-glass pieces:

C & P’s craft fair continues until 2 pm today.

FOLLOWUP: See what Highland Park’s big bird will look like

Earlier this month, we reported on the future public art for Highland Park Way/Holden, part of the city’s 1 Percent For Art program in conjunction with upcoming intersection changes including the installation of a permanent signal. Today we have our first look at what the giant Steller’s Jay sculpture by artist Matthew Mazzotta will look like, in the rendering above, made public by the city Office of Arts and Culture. The city’s update notes that the previously reported tentative title for the $120,000 installation, “Where’s the Party,” refers to “the fact that a group of jays is known as a ‘band,’ ‘cast,’ and a ‘party’ of jays.” It’s expected to be installed next summer, though other work at the intersection is scheduled to start this winter.

FOLLOWUP: Salmon in the street in High Point

As previewed in our traffic alerts the past few mornings, SDOT was out today painting community-designed salmon in the street in High Point. The decorative fish are planned for two “Healthy Street” sections of 31st SW and SW Graham. We went over late today to see what had been completed in the first round of work.

The fish we found are on 31st south of Graham, so it looks like they’ll be working on Graham tomorrow (Sunday, November 13), starting as early as 6 am.

The project is explained here.

WEEKEND PREVIEW: Ladies’ Musical Club library concerts return

(Seattle Public Library photo)

This weekend, the historic West Seattle (Admiral) Library hosts the return of a pre-pandemic favorite – the Ladies’ Musical Club. They bring free classical-music concerts to the library, and the first one in three years is scheduled for 3 pm this Sunday (November 13). The concert features woodwind duets; you can see the program on the library’s website.

Scenes from tonight’s West Seattle Art Walk, including Desmond Hansen’s guest appearance

Every time we’ve seen West Seattle artist Desmond Hansen, he’s been out along a street, in protective gear, painting a signal box. Tonight, a different setting, and some of his other work:

As previewed here earlier this week, Hansen is the featured artist tonight for the West Seattle Art Walk debut of the new West Seattle Realty (WSB sponsor) office at 2715 California SW. He painted a Seacrest Pier mural on the office’s north interior wall, and other creations of his are on display tonight and throughout the month – including these:

Around the corner from West Seattle Realty, we found Carla Dreams Nitkey at Good Society (2701 California SW), showing her abstract/expressionist work inspired by feng shui principles:

Three Art of Music performances enhanced tonight’s Art Walk, too – we caught part of Sarah Brunner‘s set at West Seattle Grounds (2141 California SW):

Next month’s Art Walk is an ectra-festive holiday edition, Thursday, December 8th.

FUN WAY TO HELP: Friendsgiving fundraiser Sunday with Mode Music and Performing Arts – get your tickets ASAP!

November 10, 2022 6:37 pm
|    Comments Off on FUN WAY TO HELP: Friendsgiving fundraiser Sunday with Mode Music and Performing Arts – get your tickets ASAP!
 |   How to help | West Seattle news | WS culture/arts

If you’re not already ticketed for the Mode Music and Performing Arts Friendsgiving Fundraiser this Sunday (November 13), you can still buy tickets tonight! Here’s the announcement:

We’re celebrating Thanksgiving early this Sunday at our Friendsgiving Fundraiser, and we’re most thankful for YOU, the community members who make up the Mode/MMPA extended family.

We still have more tickets available for purchase, and we’re hoping for a full house! Our ticketing site turns back into a pumpkin on Thursday at midnight, so act fast! Need convincing? Here’s some exciting details to get you to smash that “buy tickets” button at the end of this email.

PRICELESS Experiences Available At Our Live Auction

How would you like to host a private house show by Seattle girl rock band THEM?

Or maybe you’d like some VIP tickets for you and the family to attend Bluey’s Big Play at The Paramount?

What about an entire summer’s worth of FREE MMPA day camps?

All this and more is up for grabs at our Live Auction!

Live Performances From Mode/MMPA Teachers and Students

We’ll be hosting performances by some of Mode and MMPA’s talented teachers, as well as a set by our student rock band It’s All Happening. And we’ll end the night with a killer playlist to bring you to the dance floor, curated by our superstar emcee, KEXP DJ Troy Nelson.

Delicious Food From Our Friends at Skylark Cafe

Our neighbors and pals over at Skylark will be serving up a tasty taco bar, and we’ll also have a cash bar with beer and wine from some local spots! Come eat, drink and be merry!

We’d LOVE to see you there!

Join us THIS Sunday (November 13) from 6:00 to 9:00 pm at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center. We can’t wait to celebrate with our community!


Mode Music and Performing Arts is the nonprofit sibling of Mode Music Studios (WSB sponsor), headquartered in North Delridge.

First-ever Alien Open Mic landing Friday in West Seattle

As featured regularly on the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar, the peninsula has several regular open-mic events. This, however, is a first: An extraterrestrial-themed Alien Open Mic this Friday. West Seattleite Krystal Kelley is organizing and hosting the event with the Seattle UFO Network (SUFON) at Freshy’s (2735 California SW). She explains, “Collectively, SUFON coordinators encourage any artform as long as it does not harm anyone or any property. Ideas are poetry, music, comedy and storytelling — costumes are also encouraged. Come to share your sightings, your encounters, your knowledge from past and future lives, your dreams, your soul missions, your off-planet experiences — anything alien. All are welcome in peace: Humans, hybrids, ET’s.” It’s set to start at 5:55 pm on Friday (November 11) and run until about 8 pm. You can sign up early via this form. Otherwise, just show up. And if you want to check it out without going in person, the Alien Open Mic will be streamed on the host’s YouTube channel.

CONTINUING THIS WEEKEND: Fauntleroy Fine Art and Holiday Gift Show

November 4, 2022 7:11 pm
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 |   Fauntleroy | Holidays | West Seattle news | WS culture/arts

Meryl Sidikman is one of the first artists you’ll see when you walk into the Fauntleroy Fine Art and Holiday Gift Show, continuing until 8 pm tonight and both days this weekend. She’s a White Center artist with a studio in Highland Park, and her booth includes brightly hued paintings including the frog and bats shown in our photo. Right around the corner in the event venue at Fauntleroy Church, you’ll see Rance Holiman:

His paintings include landscapes and portraits. We also talked with Rhonda Porter – a longtime local mortgage consultant who is also an artist; this is her first show:

Work of hers that caught our eye include Elvis (as seen in the photo) and colorful chickens. The full lineup of participating artists is in our calendar listing; you’ll also find artists showing and selling work in many other media, including textiles, jewelry, and metal. The show continues 10 am-4 pm Saturday and 11 am-2 pm Sunday; the church is at 9140 California SW.

WEST SEATTLE ART: Big bird coming to Highland Park intersection

We noted in coverage of last week’s HPAC meeting that an artist has been chosen for the “percent for art”-funded installation that will be part of finishing changes to the Highland Park Way/Holden intersection. (You might recall that the signal there now is a “temporary” version installed quickly days after the West Seattle Bridge closure, when the intersection suddenly had to handle a dramatically increased share of traffic.) HPAC said the art would be a “giant Steller’s Jay.” Those of course are the fractious blue-and-black birds often seen (and heard!) in local neighborhoods:

(Photo by Jeremy Barton)

As promised, we followed up with the city Office of Arts and Culture to find out more about the plan. Here’s what spokesperson Erika Lindsay told us:

The selected artist is Matthew Mazzotta; the artwork is tentatively titled Where’s the Party. The artwork concept is a large-scale Steller’s Jay that will overlook the intersection of Highland Park Way SW and SW Holden Street.

Construction on this intersection-improvement project includes new permanent signal lights and roadway improvements, which will begin in January. The new artwork will be installed in Summer 2023. Total project cost is $120,000 and is funded through SDOT % for Art.

So how big is “large-scale”? Lindsay says, “We are still working to determine clearances from overhead wires, but for now the estimate is that the overall sculpture will likely be over 10 feet in total height.” (The city had presented three very different concepts for the intersection project last year, as we reported here, and at the time said $120,000 wasn’t enough for a sculpture.)

P.S. The “percent for art” program isn’t new – it was created almost 50 years ago.

UPDATE: Here’s what was being filmed at Camp Long Friday, and West Seattle Stadium Saturday

FRIDAY NIGHT: Thanks for the tips! We finally made it over to Camp Long a short time ago to see what was being filmed there. Security told us it’s a TV project titled “Penelope.” According to, this is the plotline: “Feeling out of place in a society that seems to be moving on without her, a 16-year-old is drawn to the wilderness where she begins forming a new life for herself.” Brothers Jay and Mark Duplass are listed as the producers; they are midway through a “first-look deal with HBO,” according to trade publications.

SATURDAY MORNING: After more tips, we confirmed that’s what the crews at West Seattle Stadium today are for, too.

New West Seattle Junction holiday event: GLOWS. Want to be part of it?

October 25, 2022 5:58 pm
|    Comments Off on New West Seattle Junction holiday event: GLOWS. Want to be part of it?
 |   Holidays | West Seattle news | WS culture/arts

Plans for this year’s West Seattle Junction Hometown Holidays are proceeding, and this year will bring something new: GLOWSGlorious Lights of West Seattle. WSJA executive director Chris Mackay says it’ll have multiple components, but right now they’re starting with a call for artists for a “light fashion show” as part of the biggest Hometown Holidays night, Saturday, December 3rd. There’ll be a community light-costume contest – how brightly can YOU shine? – and that’ll be judged by five artists who will each create a “costume of light” to wear as they promenade around The Junction 5-9 pm that night. Each chosen artist gets a $1,000 stipend, Interested? Here’s the application form.

WEEKEND PREVIEW: Makers’ Art Market at High Point Commons Park

October 21, 2022 12:04 pm
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 |   High Point | West Seattle news | WS culture/arts

Sunday looks like the best day this weekend for outdoor events, and we have a few to preview. First – the Makers’ Art Market at High Point Commons Park on Sunday afternoon. This market has brought together dozens of local artists, crafters, and other creators at other locations, most recently Alki, but this time they’re teaming up with the High Point Open Space Association to bring the market to the park. More than 30 local makers and small businesses are participating. It’s a family-friendly event, too. The park is at 3201 SW Graham, and the market is set for noon-5 pm Sunday (October 23).

Scenes from October’s West Seattle Art Walk

Back from a few stops along the October West Seattle Art Walk:

New Age Flamenco performed at Verity Credit Union (WSB sponsor) as one of the two groups in this month’s Art of Music lineup. Also at Verity, artist Marie Skoor was showing “The Private Collection of Sir Winston Mumford Johansson III“:

Despite the title, she is actually the artist; as explained on the Art Walk website, the drawings she showed “represent an imagined collection of a turn-of-the century explorer, adventurer, and amateur paleontologist: Sir Winston Mumford Johansson lll. The charcoal drawings have been done on heavily textured board, canvases, and panels to give an overall effect of the fossil subjects having been chiseled out of stone. The stark drawings are balanced with canvases painted in pastel hues. The charcoal drawings are a contrast from the artist’s usual use of a bright color palette using acrylic paints. The storytelling that accompanies the drawings are archival ‘item cards,’ meant to invoke an air of whimsy, returning us to the curio collections and oddities found in museums at the turn of the century.”

We also visited Rain City Clay in Arbor Heights for the opening of a juried show, Percolate,” featuring “works surrounding the theme of coffee and tea.” Jennifer Fujimoto is the show’s juror:

Also among the 24 artists participating in “Percolate,” Erin Shafkind:

If you couldn’t get to the studio, “Percolate” continues online for the next two weeks. Also remember that many of the Art Walk venues keep display up all month, so you can see local artists’ work even if you weren’t able to go out tonight. Art Walk is always on the second Thursday, so the next one is November 10th.

THEATER: Twelfth Night Productions and artistic director Mary Springer soon to end decades-long ‘incredible run’

(Mary Springer, 2013 WSB photo)
It’s the end of an era for West Seattle community theater, in more ways than one. Here’s the announcement sent by Twelfth Night Productions:

After nearly 30 years, Mary Springer has decided to retire as Artistic Director of Twelfth Night Productions (TNP) in 2023. Mary is the heart and soul of this organization and has created a magical community of theater lovers, performers, and artists. Her background in education and incredible gift of community building made her the perfect leader for this endeavor. With her at the helm, TNP mounted technically challenging productions, simple yet soulful radio shows, small ensemble pieces, and everything in-between. This company made our community of West Seattle stronger and richer.

TNP’s mission has always been to create a joyful and supportive place for people to explore the performing arts. With a focus on the process, not the product, the community that was built here is truly remarkable. Many generations of performers have discovered or re-discovered a passion for performing on our stages. Professional actors have sharpened their skills with us before going on to have distinguished careers. There have been multiple marriages and deep friendships forged among community members who met while working with TNP.

The amount of time and work it requires to lead this community is immense and Mary’s always-present helpers, Kathy Ayer and Rick Springer, are also ready to ease into retirement. Earlier this year, we were also informed that our costume storage warehouse has been sold and will be torn down in 2023. Considering those challenges, it is with both sadness and excitement for the future that we announce we are closing our production company in 2023. The last few years have certainly taught us that you can never say never, but for now we are making the hard choice to close the curtain.

We have had an incredible run and feel confident that our legacy of community building, joy, and inspiration will be remembered well into the future. Our holiday radio play, Miracle on 34th Street, directed by Mary, will be our final production, and then we will work on continuing to liquidate our inventory (check our website later this monthly for sales dates in October and November) and celebrate our 30 years of theater.

Save the date for a huge party to celebrate this amazing community; on 2/25/2023 we would like to invite you all to The Hall at Fauntleroy. We’d love to see community members from our entire history for a night of karaoke, dancing, celebrating… and probably a few tears.

Thank you for joining with us, onstage, backstage, in the audience, and at our work parties. This community we all built together is a true gift.

You can also watch the TNP website for the dates of their final production this holiday season.

WEST SEATTLE ART: More ‘Interruptions’

(September photo courtesy Katie Kauffman)

Last month we reported on that mural in Puget Ridge, “Lukia e Tenifa” by Toka Valu. The mural at 18th/Myrtle is one of four West Seattle installations that are part of the city’s “Art Interruptions” program; they’re now all detailed and explained here, in a newly published feature on the city’s ArtBeat website. Some are as simple as signs; all are meant to be temporary, the city says, even the mural.

WEST SEATTLE MUSIC: Got a ukulele? WSUP! is for you

(Photo courtesy WSUP!)

If you’ve got a ukulele, this group is looking for you. Mike at WSUP! sent the announcement:

WSUP! (name includes exclamation mark) – West Seattle Ukulele Players – are people sharing the joy of ukulele and music welcoming all and serving the West Seattle Community. We are open to ukulele players at all skill levels to join together and make music. We meet on Thursdays from 1:00 to 2:30 p.m. We supply the links to musical sources we will play from. Currently we are playing outside at assorted locales in West Seattle. To see where we will be playing next, go to our public page or can contact me directly – foxslair (at)

FOLLOWUP: Pigeon Point intersection mural restored

Thanks to Paula for the photos! Two months ago, we reported on the plan to repaint the neighborhood-created intersection mural at 21st/Genesee; today, SDOT crews did the repainting.

Paula says this is actually the third time for the mural designed by Pigeon Point neighbor Toni Wells: “The first two times it was painted by the neighborhood, to be scrubbed away by car tires like big erasers.” SDOT told us they would use a “more durable paint”; Paula said she was told the crew was using a thermoplastic process, which has long been used for certain types of street markings.

WEST SEATTLE ART: Want to buy a mural?

(Photo courtesy Senior Center of West Seattle – artist Steffanie Lorig and mural)

The cracked corner windows at the Senior Center of West Seattle building are being replaced today – and that means the temporary murals (explained here before the Alki Arts pop-up week) had to come down. Both were offered for sale, with half the proceeds to the artist, half to the Senior Center. SCWS executive director Amy Lee Derenthal says one mural already has been sold but the other one is available, the one that’s been facing California SW – a 40″ x 80″ mural painted by Steffanie Lorig. If you’re interested, email Alki Arts’ Diane Venti to inquire, at

MUSIC! GAMES! Get creative with Mode Music and Performing Arts fall classes, starting soon

September 30, 2022 9:40 am
|    Comments Off on MUSIC! GAMES! Get creative with Mode Music and Performing Arts fall classes, starting soon
 |   West Seattle news | WS culture/arts

Mode Music and Performing Arts – the nonprofit sibling to Mode Music Studios (WSB sponsor) – is about to start fall classes, and some have room to register:

Mode Music and Performing Arts‘s group classes kick off on October 10th, which means there’s one week left to register your kid for one! We’re putting a spotlight on three of our favorites: Ukulele 101, Dungeons & Dragons Campaign, and Songwriting Workshop!

1. Ukulele 101
Grades K – 3
Mondays, 4:00 – 5:00 pm

If you’ve got a little one who loves music and are looking for a place for them to channel that, ukulele classes are a great place to start! Ukulele 101 offers kindergartners through 3rd graders a great chance to learn the basics of an instrument that’s just their size. Our teacher Veronique Littlefield has experience as both a private music instructor and a preschool teacher, making her perfect for intro lessons for our younger students.

2. Dungeons & Dragons Campaign
Grades 4 – 6
Tuesdays, 4:00 – 6:00 pm

Is your tween crazy for Stranger Things? Do they love all things fantasy and magic? Sign them up for our Dungeons & Dragons campaign! Our D&D Campaign is led by Dungeon Master Jessie Kuehm, who moonlights as MMPA’s education director when she’s not guiding her fellow campaigners into the forgotten realm. Jessie’s a real expert at the world of D&D, and feels strongly that the game provides students with great social and creative skills like teamwork, collaboration, and the artistry of character building.

3. Songwriting Workshop
Grades 4 – 8
Wednesdays, 5:30 – 6:30 pm

Songwriting workshop welcomes all tweens and junior highers who love to scream-sing Taylor Swift/Olivia Rodrigo/Lizzo in their bedrooms (we relate)! Songwriting is an amazing way for kids to own their stories and learn music skills at the same time, and there’s no better teacher to introduce them to it than our own Jared Mitchell. Jared graduated Belmont University with a degree in Music Business with an emphasis in Songwriting, then stuck around Nashville for several years after, where he had an exclusive publishing deal with a local recording studio. He has a passion for sharing all his knowledge with a new generation of songwriters, and will help the kids not only write their own song, but produce a professional-quality recording of it!

Registration info is here. MMPA and Mode are based in North Delridge, right next to the now-open West Seattle Bridge.

THEATER: ArtsWest’s new season starts this week with ‘Swimming While Drowning’

That’s a quick clip with the two stars of the season-starting play at ArtsWest (4711 California SW; WSB sponsor), “Swimming While Drowning,” which opens this week – there’s a pay-what-you-can preview on Wednesday, and the official opening night is Thursday. The play by Emilio Rodriguez is described as “a story of love, poetry, and new beginnings”; read more about it here. Roy Arauz directs; Brodrick Ryans and Gabriel FitzPatrick are the actors. After Wednesday’s 7:30 pm preview, “Swimming While Drowning” will be presented Thursdays-Saturdays at 7:30 pm and Sundays at 3 pm through October 23rd. Tickets are available online here.

WEST SEATTLE ART: New streetcorner mural with ‘all the things’

Thanks for the tips! That mural is close to complete on the northwest corner of 36th SW and SW Barton in Upper Fauntleroy. We went over to talk with the artists, Katie Todaro and Alex Nason.

Katie owns Glam Dusty Studios and also created other West Seattle murals including 35th/Henderson and behind Compass Real Estate in The Junction. This one, she laughed, has “all the things” – from Bigfoot to Mount Rainier to a state ferry (the dock is just blocks to the west). Also, a West Seattle Bridge that Katie points out “is NOT broken.”

A bus, too:

Katie told us the mural was commissioned by the corner homeowner, who had long wanted to do something with his “awesome retaining wall.” (Fauntlee Hills was originally the name of the brick-house subdivision a few blocks west.) They started work Friday evening and hope to finish the mural by the end of today.