It was a hard task when HomeStreet Bank took over organizing the annual Madison Park Art Walk four years ago, but each year has been easier than the last.
“I think that last year was pretty efficient, but this year it was even more efficient,” said Aga Scheurich, a large 2018 art walk binder laid out on the senior customer service supervisor’s desk.
HomeStreet Bank opened in Madison Park in 2014, and took over the art walk from the neighborhood business association the following year.
“HomeStreet basically loves being involved in community,” Scheurich said, “and we’re looking for local opportunities to be involved.”
A call to artists starts in April, said Lisa Yanone, a senior customer service representative with HomeStreet Bank. An artist friend, who does not participate in the walk, helps them generate the posters. They also reach out to artists who have shown their work during past walks.
“The first year we took over the art walk, in 2015, we were kind of overwhelmed,” Scheurich said.
But Scheurich and Yanone now have a strong network of business and artist connections, as well as a system and schedule that works pretty well.
Artists had until the end of July to submit applications, which were at nearly 50.
“Last year was our busiest year as far as artists go,” Yanone said, “and we were able to accommodate every one of them.”
That often means using larger businesses to host several artists and their works. Realogics|Sotheby’s International Realty opened its Park House showroom last year, and has been requested several times this year, Scheurich said, but the space is fairly limited.
“The majority of the businesses participate,” Yanone said. “Most of the businesses, they do buy appetizers and they have little things on hand.”
“They want to be open,” Scheurich said, “everyone’s like, ‘Yes, yes, I’m in.’”
Starbucks on Madison shows one piece by each artist every year, Yanone said, and typically has free drinks available during the art walk.
The HomeStreet Bank employees will spend part of August with applications and art samples laid out on the floor, and businesses written down on sticky notes, finding the right pairings in time to print out art walk maps directing attendees around Madison Park.
Scheurich didn’t have an exact figure on attendance last year.
“We print 700 maps,” she said, “and they’re all taken during the event.”
“The street is just packed with people walking around drinking wine,” Yanone said.
The pieces tapped for this year’s art walk will be on display through Oct. 1, but the appetizers and wine will only be flowing during the grand opening 5-9 p.m. Friday, Sept. 14. An annual tradition, The Daddz band of local dads will also be jamming this this year.
Scheurich said she wanted to recognize HomeStreet Bank branch manager Ila Nazarco, who is on maternity leave and wasn’t able to work on the art walk this year.
“She’s the one who wasn’t afraid to say no in the first place.”
Find out more at madisonparkartwalk.com.