Skagit Artists Together is a dynamic, region-wide organization of artists whose mission includes connecting public schools, hospitals, merchants and other community organizations with opportunities to enjoy the visual arts. It represents more than sixty local artists in the mediums of painting, photography, sculpture, glass work, jewelry and pottery.
We were founded thirteen years ago and our past presidents have included Lin McJunkin, Barbara Silverman Summers and Mary Quintrall. The president in 2016 is Melissa Ballenger.
SAT members offer their art works to the public in many of the galleries in Skagit County and the region, and many distinguished members have won awards locally and internationally. Twice a year members offer their work directly to the public: at “Art Bash” during the Tulip Festival and the county-wide, juried Studio Tour, which in 2016 will take place the weekend of July 16 and 17.
Membership is open to all serious artists, who may initially attend meetings as a guest. These frequently include lectures and practical demonstrations on artistic techniques, how to sell your work and how to find inspiration.
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The Vela Luka Croatian Dance Ensemble and Ruze Dalmatinke perform music and dance of Croatia.
The performers in Vela Luka, founded in 1975, represent four generations of Croatian Americans
who have introduced their culture’s extraordinary choreography, music, and instruments to people all over the world.
Forming a cross-cultural link between the Puget Sound region and Croatia, Vela Luka strives to
preserve Croatian folkways and culture for generations to come.
The Vela Luka Croatian Dance Ensemble, founded in 1975, perform music and dance of Croatia and the United States. Anacortes, home of the Vela Luka Croatian Dance Ensemble, is located on Fidalgo Island in the Northwest corner of Washington State. One-quarter of the residents of this unique community are descended from immigrants from another fishing village: Vela Luka, on the Island of Korčula, Croatia. The performers in Vela Luka represent four generations of Croatian Americans who have introduced their culture’s extraordinary choreography, music, and instruments to people all over the world. Forming a cross-cultural link between the Puget Sound region and Croatia, the company strives to preserve Croatian folkways and culture for generations to come.
The Ruže Dalmatinke Orchestra, a Seattle-based, professional ensemble, specializes in the music of Croatia and Bosnia. The group was founded by two sisters, Binki Franulović Spahi and Alma Franulović Plancich, who immigrated with their family to the United States after World War II from their native town of Vela Luka on the island of Korčula, Dalmatia in Croatia. BONACA, “calm seas”, formed in 2009, performs music of Croatia, the Balkans and beyond, are expert musicians who are soloists in their own right. The ensemble of talented musicians in BONACA play for Vela Luka and Ruže Dalmatinke.
Vela Luka and Ruže Dalmatinke have been featured in two national TV documentaries – Hrvati! (PBS, 1981) and Children of Ellis Island (ABC, 1986)-numerous local radio and television programs, as well as books and audio recordings. In 1986, they represented the State of Washington at the Rededication of the Statue of Liberty in New York and at EXPO ’86 in Vancouver, B.C. RD, in 1986, travelled to Mazatlan, Mexico, performing in numerous concerts. In 1988 and 1990, both groups toured Croatia and Bosnia-Hercegovina and in 2000, VL and RD traveled to the homeland once again performing throughout Croatia. They were featured performers at the Washington State Centennial Celebration in 1989; Voices West, Salt Lake City, 1991, 1993, and 1994, and the opening celebration of the Seattle Symphony’s Benaroya Hall in 1998. In 1996, the ensemble received the Governor’s Heritage Award from the Washington State Art’s Commission. Between 1996 and 2000, the ensembles performed in Idaho, Sacramento, San Francisco, and in 1999 were the featured performers at the Redlands Bowl, Redlands, California. The ensembles were featured in the King County Arts Commission Touring Arts Roster for 2002-2003 and 2009-2010. Fall 2002, VL participated in Green Meadows Productions’ Festival of Cultureswest coast tour – 48 performances, 7 cities, across 3 states. The 2003 calendar included the opening of McCaw Hall, local theatre and festival performances and a February concert in San Francisco, CA. In 2004, amongst numerous local performances, VL performed at Paramount Theatre, Seattle, as part of the “DANCE this…” and the ensembles together performed for the opening of the McIntyre Hall, Mt. Vernon, WA. The 2005 calendar featured a tour to Oregon and inclusion in the Kirkland Performance Center Season. In 2008 VL performed the 10th Anniversary of DANCE this… at the Paramount Theatre, Seattle. Annual performances continued 2005-2012: Blessing of the Fleet, Gig Harbor; NW Folklife Festival; Ethnic Heritage Council’s Cultural Crossroads, EHC’s Winter Worldfest and CroatiaFest. VL & RD instructors and members, over the years, have taught at local schools as part of curriculum and as special event speakers/instructors. July 2012 Ruže Dalmatinke was honored with an invitation to perform at the Library of Congress and the Kennedy Center – Millennium Stage, where introductions were made by United States Representative from Washington State, Congressman Jim McDermott, and a welcome by the Ambassador of the Republic of Croatia to the United States of America Joško Paro.
The Anacortes Arts Foundation is a non-profit organization formed to serve the community
By cultivating, promoting and sponsoring a variety of art forms.
The Anacortes Arts Foundation has had a long history with several changes of course along the way. Many of its projects have spun off into still existent organizations of their own.
The origins of the Anacortes Arts Foundation were in 1961. The organization began as the Anacortes Arts and Crafts Festival. The Festival quickly grew into one of the state's leading local arts organizations, serving thousands of people. A permanent art collection, gathered via purchase awards selected from juried shows, was hailed as one of the best small collections in the State of Washington. The collection was the beginning of the Festival’s Anacortes Art Gallery in 1969. The original Gallery was in the basement of the Anacortes Museum. Later the Gallery and the Festival office were located on Commercial Avenue.
The success of the Festival’s occasional performing arts events attested to community interest. Support of such events led to the formation of the Pop'N'Arts performing arts series in 1974, which, with the Anacortes School Districts' Cultural Education Program, received a Governor's 1975 Arts Award for innovative joint programming.
By 1980 the growing diversity of local arts programs and activities had resulted in the establishment of the Anacortes Arts and Crafts Foundation, as an outgrowth of the Festival, to oversee the expanding scope of art activities in Anacortes. The Pop ‘N’ Arts Series, the Cultural Education Program, the Anacortes Arts Gallery, and the Arts and Craft Festival were all committees under the Foundation auspices. (The very successful Anacortes Arts Festival, as it exists today, was a “spin-off” from this Foundation. The permanent art collection resides at the Arts Festival office.) The aim of the Foundation was to serve as a coordinating organization for all local non-profit arts groups. In addition, the Foundation disbursed the proceeds raised annually by the Anacortes Patrons of the Arts (APTOA) and served as a local arts clearing house.
In 1981 the Foundation, with the cooperation of Burlington Northern Railroad and the City of Anacortes, acquired the Great Northern Railroad Depot, built in 1911 and located at 611 “R” Avenue in Anacortes. In 1988 the name “Depot Arts Center” was adopted, which identified the Foundation’s location. The Depot Arts Center’s principal emphasis became the development and renovation of the Depot for use as a community cultural center and a central office for arts groups in the community. An Art Gallery featuring local artists was permanently located at the Center. Vela Luka Croatian Dance Ensemble, Fidalgo Youth Symphony, Anacortes Farmers Market, and Schola Antiquae Vocis (Gregorian chant and Renaissance polyphony choir) all came under the Center’s legal “umbrella.” In the succeeding years numerous groups used the Center for their activities and needs. These included Celebration Lutheran Church, Vela Luka Croatian Dance Ensemble, the Camera Club, the life drawing group, the tai kwan do classes, the annual Nutcracker Gift Show, the annual hedgehog event, and many private celebrations such as wedding parties. Various events were held, which included the yearly Garden Art Fair, writers’ workshops, poetry readings, and concerts.
Eventually, restoring and maintaining the Depot and promoting arts organizations became untenable. In January, 2012, custodianship of the building was returned to the City of Anacortes. The organization is now legally recognized as the Anacortes Arts Foundation.
Foundation Affiliates are the Vela Luka Croatian Dance Ensemble, the Croatian Cultural Center, and Fidalgo Culture.
Without a permanent location for its activities, the focus of the Foundation is evolving. Its current emphasis is on the best in solo and small ensemble classical music. Like a phoenix springing forth from the pyre, the Anacortes Arts Foundation is again alive and well.
Maria Petrish, president
Marius Hibbard, first vice-president
Laurie Gill, second vice-president
Maria Anderson, secretary
Denny Oreb, treasurer
Artists Northwest was founded in the early 1950s as the Anacortes Arts Guild. Originally the group met in members' homes. In the 1960s the group set up a sales gallery and artists studio in the Allan Building, and by 1968 the name was changed to Artists Northwest. The group has promoted art in the community in various ways, such as emphasizing youth art and contributing money for materials for art in some of the schools.
Currently, Artists NW has a continuing gallery at the Mount Vernon Cafe and meets at the Anacortes Senior Center the third Thursday of each month. Monthly painting challenges and a group activity are the centerpieces of the meetings. DVDs are available for members to check out.
Visit their website/blog...
Arts in Anacortes
Featuring arts for all in Anacortes.