Community members of all ages flocked to the volunteer and community-run Ballard P-Patch for its annual Art in the Garden event where vendors, artists, musicians, and volunteers join forces to promote local art, culture and community.
Plants and flowers filled the luscious gardens with color where people could walk through the pathways and enjoy the sights and smells. CascadiaNow! set up small stage near the back of the garden where artists Nomi, Megan Larson, Ben Henry, Folichon, Trash Panda, and Ed Alto filled the gardens with music for all to enjoy.
Seattle artist Ryan Henry Ward donated his time all of Friday afternoon painting a mural for the P-Patch to enjoy for years to come. Ryan creates art freely from his imagination inspired by the city interconnecting and blending with nature. The wall Henry painted was recently installed to create new giving garden p-patch space so more food can be grown and donated to the Ballard Food Bank. Art in the Garden visitors were among the first to see the new Henry mural.
As a part of the p-patch fundraiser, local artists and vendors donated to a silent auction and set up their booths around the gardens. P-Patch volunteers set up a by donation kid’s booth with arts and crafts. Children could make magic wands, paper trees, and anything they could imagine.
Art in the Garden vendors and gardners John Lateer and his wife Terri started their business Heirlooms To Be five years ago and started this summer with their first year at the P-Patch.
“Meeting the people,” Terri said when asked about her favorite part of the event.
“We like the local feel,” John added.
Dayne Lopez of Dayne studios makes glass art designs and has been sharing his art with the community at the Ballard P-Patch every summer for three years. He is working on building a studio in Renton but for now is set up with the Snohomish County Arts Council.
“It’s the community,” he said when asked about his favorite part of setting up at Art in the Garden. “Everybody is really nice and supportive.”
Lopez returns to the event every year because of its community atmosphere and to expose more people to local art.
Nancy Hom of Sunlan Designs has been vending hand-made and garden inspired jewelry at Art in the Gardens since 2010 and is the only show she works with in the summer because she knows the funding is going back to the community. Her work focuses on the natural world and is made from nature. For example, she sold colorful dangle earrings made from beetle wings, and air plant flower necklaces. Sunlan was inspired to make jewelry by her mother, Sunlan, who was a machine operator during the day and jewelry maker at night.
Aimee Morrow of Soulever Chocolates set up her booth and offered free chocolate tastings for potential customers. This year was Aimee’s first setting up at the P-Patch but has been at many community farmer’s markets before.
“I like interacting with people and seeing how they react to chocolate because people love chocolate,” she said.
Aimee was inspired to make her chocolates dairy, soy, and sugar free to make sure that everyone could experience the deliciousness of chocolate.
Community volunteers also held a Wine Grab. For $15 per bottle, customers could choose red or white wine and the rest was a mystery until unwrapped. Community members donated the wine and P-Patch volunteers ran the booth with funds going back to the gardens.
Kari Schertzinger ran her photography booth for the third year at the garden. She expressed the importance of community and promoting smaller vendors who may not have storefronts. She also said the event was perfect for exposing the community and children to creative expression.
Taylor McAvoy is a Junior at the University of Washington pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Journalism. She has been a writer and photographer for the university’s newspaper The Daily for more than a year focusing on editorial reporting and arts event coverage. She is currently vice president elect of the Society of Professional Journalist’s (SPJ) University of Washington chapter. She is also working on her own as a freelance journalist and photographer.