Art made fresh

Fresh, fast and hot, hot, hot describe qualities you normally search out in a burger - not a work of art.

However, here in Fremont, where art attacks and often conquers, we now serve it up fresh, thanks to the creative minds at our Fremont "Fun Club" Rotary.

The Fremont Fresh Art Festival returns to Adobe Plaza during the ultimate of all weekends: the Fremont Fair.

On Sunday, June 20, the Fremont Rotary invites artists of all media to plant themselves in picturesque sites overlooking the canal (or in choice spots aboard our ferry, the Fremont Avenue) to paint, sculpt, draw or decorate furniture from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Whatever their fast fingers and fertile imaginations can compose in the space of a few hours will go to auction at 3 p.m., with the artist collecting 40 percent of the proceeds.

Sixty percent goes to the Fremont Rotary, to fund the work they do in our community, with a portion donated to the Fremont Public Association. As fund-raisers go, this one scales the win-win heights!

Eleanor Karapetian, a recent recruit to our lively Rotary, spoke enthusiastically on their local projects, including those at B.F. Day Elementary School and the Children's Home Society.

Lately, they've coordinated with John Booker and Common Hope on the construction of cisterns in Guatemala.

Since the club's inception in 2000, they've given considerable support to Project Amigo's work in Mexico. The Fresh Art Festival will fund yet more projects.

"We are an eclectic and renaissance group," Eleanor told me.

An artist herself, a photographer, Eleanor doesn't plan to participate in the festival. "No, I'm just going to run it," she explained.

Capt. Larry Kezner, of the Fremont Avenue, prepared this year's effort, but on the day of, he must ferry folks around so Eleanor will take shore duty.

The Fremont Rotary has pulled this off twice before - at last year's fair and the Oktoberfest - with amazing success. The only complaint I've heard, and a minor one at that, concerns the lack of deep-pocketed buyers.

Most artists, like Robert Blehert, speak highly of such an opportunity for exposure.

Robert, whose work can be viewed at, painted at the previous events and did very well. While his works sold for a "reasonable price" (by his account), both sales led to other commissions, his bread and butter.

"The whole thing was easy," he told me, "it's great to have an excuse to do a painting."

Both times he scoped out the locations he wanted and showed up early to get them. While he had about three to four hours to paint, he took only half to leave him time to check out the work of other artists.

"This is a great event," he enthused, "so cool for the artists and for the Rotary!"

The community, as I see it, rakes in the greatest winnings. In an era when people want to moan about Fremont losing its soul, this event shows how changes here have enhanced what we are.

Back in the early days of the fair, when the dudes at the Fremont Tavern lit off a canon to mark the hour, an artist sitting out in the street (no beautiful plazas then) might best gather a group of stoned revelers.

Now people choke our streets to see the artists and artisans and show them financial support - support that the Fremont Rotary translates into funding for good works in our community.

Everyone wins. How cool!

Kirby Lindsay lives on the fringe of the Fremont Fair and enjoys the hoopla every year. She congratulates the Fremont Public Association on its vital work in aiding Seattle's disadvantaged - and its most outstanding Fremont Fair! She welcomes your comments at fremont@

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