Edmonds draws creative spirit in its developing waterfront city



Tracy Felix “absolutely” loves that her Edmonds business, ARTspot, has a “Main Street” address. She also appreciates having an idyllic four-block walk to work. If you leave their shop and turn right, you will find a charming fountain; To the left, the line of sight pans down the hill towards the sparkling water and the ferry. Felix knows Edmonds is where people go on vacation. “I am allowed to live here,” she is amazed.

Patrick Doherty, Director of Economic Development & Community Services for the City of Edmonds, describes this “seaside hometown” as “a vibrant mix of shops, galleries, restaurants, cafes, culture and events – all steps from saltwater beaches and excellent views over the city Puget Sound to the Olympic Mountains. ”

Felix raised her children in this quaint oasis, and it’s a community where she now meets someone she knows on every outing. In 2012 she opened ARTspot; It is now the last independent art store in Snohomish County. Your venue offers an old-fashioned shopping experience where shoppers can touch brushes, participate in “artspeak” and meet like-minded people. “We like to think we’re a hub,” she said.

When embargoes brought additional taxes on imported goods some time ago, ARTspot was hardly affected; The curated store tries to sell products made in the USA. However, she carries some classics like French watercolor papers, which have been made on the same printing press for about 200 years. “Art supplies have such a story,” says Felix.

Edmonds, which Felix describes as “a complex aspect of art,” received its official Creative District award in 2018, the first such award in the state. When the criteria were announced, Felix – who served on the original committee after the creation of the Creative District – said, “We already had everything to apply.”

“The natural beauty that surrounds Edmonds creates an aesthetic of the place that inspires the creative in all of us,” says Doherty, “from artists, designers and photographers to chefs, baristas and mixologists! Add the hometown atmosphere and the result is a community that thrives. ”

The raffles for creative people range from the Cascadia Art Museum and an annual art festival to monthly art walks that have been taking place every third Thursday for 15 years. During shutdown. Gallery owners moved displays in shop windows to provide a COVID-safe experience.

The anticipation for the completion of the Graphite Arts Center is growing, a multifunctional “community meeting point” that is to hold its soft opening in late autumn. As the headquarters of the nonprofit Art Start Northwest, which Felix founded with Edmonds-based Mary Olsen, the building aims to make art accessible to all. It will have a gallery, an area to relax and enjoy art books, a pottery studio, darkroom, restaurant and changing rooms where people can store their artifacts for the workshop. Felix hopes that this will be an inviting and non-judgmental space for everyone interested

Felix believes Edmonds has become more and more “trendy”. Doherty adds that while most visitors first enjoy downtown Edmonds and its enticing waterfront, there is much more to explore. “Smaller business districts in the neighborhood offer a wide variety of shops, restaurants and activities,” he says, “while the International District on Highway 99 Corridor has the best Asian shops and restaurants – some real insider tips: dim sum, Korean barbecue, fresh fish , Taiwanese hot pots, bubble tea and more. “

Some of Doherty’s favorite additives? Fire & the Feast (think pizza and pasta), Kahlo’s Cantina, the FIELD flower shop, the new Epulo Bistro location in Salish Crossing, and a slew of shops and restaurants soon to be added with Main Street Commons.

Felix also names established companies like Edmonds Bookshop, HouseWares, which has been a mainstay downtown since 1999, and Cole Gallery, a place where she has “been representing artists the old way” since 2006. Rick Steves’ headquarters, a fixture in the city, with a building dominated by European-style gargoyles.

Waterfront Center, Edmonds.

Felix suggests taking a look at the recently opened Waterfront Center (formerly Senior Center). At this community-focused, cross-generational hub, visitors can order takeaway ice cream through a window or enjoy meals with a view at The Potlatch Bistro, one of Chef Shubert Ho’s newest ventures.

Over the past year, the community continued to plant beautiful flowers downtown and decided against boarding up shop windows. ARTspot even showed positive post-it notes in its windows, scribbled by Edmond’s residents. One message says it all: “Stay safe, stay friendly, stay creative!”

The Edmond’s creative district is a traditional, pedestrian-friendly small town with a rich mix of art, culture, creative businesses, public meeting rooms and historic buildings – all on the shores of Puget Sound with panoramic views of the Olympic Mountains.



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