Back to Arts

Organized anarchy

The 13th annual Art on the Ave Festival even has your dog covered

Awesome stuff like this happens every year. Photo by Pappi Swarner

Recommend Article
Total Recommendations (0)
Clip Article Email Article Print Article Share Article

This weekend chalk artists, vendors, skaters and even dogs in high fashion will stream onto Sixth Avenue. It's anarchy!

Actually, it's the annual Art on the Ave - one of Tacoma's coolest arts festivals.

"Art on the Ave is in its 13th year, so it's one of Tacoma's biggest and best festivals," says festival coordinator Angela Jossy. "It's known for its eclectic and inclusive nature."

Of course, this is an art festival and you can, above all, expect to find art on tap. But the artwork here is not limited to canvas work or sculpture or other things you might only find in a museum. "There will be ALL kinds of art," says Jossy.

Indeed, you'd be hard-pressed to find more going on within 13 blocks anywhere else in town. From Cedar Street to Trafton Street, Sixth Avenue will be blocked off to traffic to accommodate the annual artistic frenzy. This year's Art on the Ave will feature about 100 vendor and nonprofit information booths - many with artistic slants. Art at the festival will range from oil on canvas to metalwork to glass art to jewelry and beyond. Local artsy businesses will also be here, including 253 Collective, Hilltop Artists and Box Top Vintage. Even with so many booths, this is just the beginning.

One of the new additions to the festival this year is the Tacoma Filmmakers Showcase at the Baptist church (2520 Sixth Ave.).  Just like the rest of the festival, entry to see any or all of the films - handpicked by Tacoma's Randy Sparks - is totally free. Films are showing from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m., and many have played at the Tacoma Film Festival or the Tacoma 72 Hour Film Competition. All movies are unrated and children younger than 17 should come with an adult.

"The films cover a wide range of topics shot mostly in Tacoma, from intense drama to outrageous comedies, local documentaries and music videos," says Sparks. "They're impressive and entertaining and showcase the talents of local filmmakers in Tacoma."

There will be four outdoor stages to spice up the festival - Metro Parks Family Stage, Jazzbones Stage, O'Malley's Stage and Maurice The Fish Records Stage. The stages will all feature an array of bands and if you wander among them throughout the day you are sure to experience some form of musical nirvana.

The Maurice the Fish Stage will be located in front of D.O.A. and is appropriately headed up by none other than Raymond Hayden of Maurice the Fish Records.

"Our label just finished up having the main stage at the Urban Arts Festival and it was very successful!" says Hayden. "All the artists are different and all have CDs out. The day was set up to create a dynamic shift between different genres of music that, in the end, come together to showcase Tacoma's talent and eclectic music scene. Each and every one of these artists are professionals and have the what I like to call can't-take-your-eyes-off-them appeal."

If art, movies and music aren't enough to keep your attention, in front of O'Malley's Irish Pub, Art on the Ave will also feature a skateboarding half-pipe and a youth basketball tournament. Chalk artist Steve Platt will be on-site creating sidewalk masterpieces.

For kids, there will be the Metro Parks Kid Zone with bounce houses, arts and craft activities and the Metro Parks Family Stage. This festival even goes beyond making sure the whole family is happy - it ensures your pet is happy, too! The Pet Zone will feature pet photo portraits by Paul Uhl and painted portraits by Annette Burt. A Doggie Fashion Show is open to all so make sure Fido and FiFi are wearing their finest and ready to strut their stuff.

Art on the Ave

Sunday, July 10, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Sixth Avenue between Cedar Street and Trafton Street, Tacoma

Read next close


Bare-bones painting

comments powered by Disqus

Site Search