Jennifer Kuhns, whose work decorates Olympia’s Artesian Commons Park, works mostly with salvaged stained glass. This piece is called “Eostre.” Jennifer Kuhns Courtesy
Jennifer Kuhns, whose work decorates Olympia’s Artesian Commons Park, works mostly with salvaged stained glass. This piece is called “Eostre.” Jennifer Kuhns Courtesy


Looking to check out some free arts events this weekend? Downtown Olympia is the place to be.

The Olympian

April 27, 2017 05:26 PM

Do it yourself

Draw under the influence

Why just look at the art other people make when you can take matters into your own hands? That’s the idea behind Drink and Draw from 5-8 p.m. Friday (April 28) at the China Clipper Club Cafe, 402 Fourth Ave. E., Olympia. “Grab a cocktail and some crayons, and get creative,” the bar’s Facebook page invites. Crayons, pencils, coloring pages and paper will be provided. Would-be artists will have to purchase their own libations. 360-943-6300.


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Works of many colors

Jennifer Kuhns, whose mosaics decorate Artesian Commons Park in Olympia, will show new mosaics, made mostly of salvaged stained glass. It’s part of a large group show at Flourish, 112 Fourth Ave. E., Olympia. Among her newer pieces are a portrait of Alfred Hitchcock, which uses subtly shaded pieces of glass to show the play of light on the late filmmaker’s face, and a brilliantly colored maple tree, which replicates a photo taken by a relative living in northern Michigan. 360-915-9875,,


Farmers market on the map

Music is always among the offerings at the Olympia Farmers Market, 700 Capitol Way N. But in honor of Arts Walk, the market has a little something extra planned Saturday. In fact, this might be the first time the market has been officially listed on the Arts Walk map, said Mary DiMatteo, the market’s community outreach manager. From 10-11 a.m., there will be contra dancing with music by Riffraff and calling by Carol Piening. Podunk Funk will play 11 a.m.-3 p.m. 360-352-9096,

The return of the King

Seattle Rock Orchestra will pay homage to Michael Jackson, oft called “King of Pop.” The concert, at 8 p.m. Saturday at the Capitol Theater, 206 Fifth Ave. SE, will feature many of Jackson’s most popular songs performed by the 50-plus-piece pop orchestra, which visited Olympia in the fall with an evening of David Bowie tunes. “People are a bit surprised at the energy we have, which you get from so many more musicians than in a rock band,” director Scott Tedesco told The Olympian in November. “People go wild.” Tickets are $25, $20 for Olympia Film Society members, and are available at 360-754-6670 or


Only natural

Nature is the subject for Jean Nagai and Peter Scherrer, whose two-artist show “Dots, Rocks and Landscapes” opens Friday (April 28) at Salon Refu, 114 Capitol Way N. Nagai of Olympia, an artist in residence at Tappan Atelier in Los Angeles, and Scherrer of Bellingham practice allover painting. Nagai’s dot-filled images take inspiration from the desert, said Salon Refu owner Susan Christian, while Scherrer’s more illustrative work comes straight from the forest. The show, open through May 21, is the last before the gallery takes a hiatus. 360-280-3540.


A housewarming with a twist

Stonewall Youth, a nonprofit that supports LGBT youths, is having what the organization calls a “Homo Warming Party.” The folks at Stonewall are celebrating their move into the organization’s new home at 112 State Ave. NE and raising funds toward the goal of buying the building. The party — 5-10 p.m. Friday (April 28) and noon-8 p.m. Saturday — will include live music, an art gallery, crafts projects (including making protest signs) and a cardboard fort that invites exploration. Tarot and birth-chart readings will be available noon-3 p.m. Saturday. Admission to the celebration is free, with donations welcome, and there will be baked goods and other items for sale. 360-705-2738,


When it rains …

While auspicious, Arts Walk weather is generally thought to be dry, one offering is visible only when it rains: “Writing in the Rain” is a series of short poems “painted” with a waterproof coating on downtown sidewalks. The poems, written by locals and selected by Amy Solomon-Minarchi, Olympia’s first poet laureate, were installed just in time for Arts Walk. Rain or shine, the poetically inclined can commemorate Arts Walk in literary style at Solomon-Minarchi’s free workshop Writing to Art. People of all ages and levels of writing experience are welcome to join the poet laureate to explore writing about art on a journey through downtown from 10-11:30 a.m. Saturday beginning at City Hall, 601 Fourth Ave. E.


Sand returns to the city

The Hands on Children’s Museum’s Sand in the City festival is no more. So a local sand-sculpting team is bringing its art to Arts Walk for the first time. Form Finders will create a series of super-quick carvings from 1-4 p.m. Saturday in front of Thomas Architecture Studio, 109 Capitol Way N. Two sculptors will go head-to-head every 20 minutes, competing to carve the same object, chosen at random or suggested by audience members, said Amos Callender, one of the team’s co-captains. “We are used to working on a piece for four-plus hours,” he said. “So these are really quick, high-pressure-type carvings.” 360-915-8775,


Weird and proud

“Pacific NorthWeird” explores such mysteries as haunted cemeteries, Bigfoot and Ramtha. The video series might sound like something from “Portlandia,” but it has an Olympia connection: It’s hosted by Vince Ynzunza, who divides his time between Olympia and Portland, and Alexandra Sullivan of Seattle. The show, which has aired on TCTV and is available on YouTube (, won an American Community Media’s Best of the Northwest award in the documentary category for the episode about ECETI (Enlightened Contact with ExtraTerrestrial Intelligence) Ranch, which is in Troutdale, Oregon. Some of Ynzunza’s favorite episodes will screen on a loop from 5-10 p.m. Friday (April 28) and from noon-8 p.m. at Cascadia Grill, 200 Fourth Ave. W. 360-628-8731,