Columns & Blogs

Upcycle ThrowDown challenges artists

Lydia Place’s thrift store, Wise Buys, and Ragfinery are promoting a new event, the Downtown Upcycle ThrowDown, an art and sustainable challenge event sponsored by Northwest Recycling Inc. It’s a cooperative “Upcycle Challenge” between the two Bellingham sustainably-minded stores, coming together to make art from donated and discarded goods.

The event aims to encourage artistically inclined folks to design and create a wearable or non-wearable item that features nearly 100 percent used and recycled goods. From plates to T-shirts to discarded kimonos and linens, contestants must use purchased materials from each organization to create their design.

A $20 entry fee enables participants to spend $10 at both Wise Buys and Ragfinery for materials. Winners in wearable and non-wearable categories will each receive a $100 cash prize. One People’s Choice Selection will win a prize basket of goods and services from Ragfinery, Wise Buys, and other local businesses. Submissions are accepted through 5 p.m. Friday, July 31, at Ragfinery, 1421 N. Forest St.

Entries will be on display during the Downtown Art Walk from 6 to 10 p.m. Aug. 7 at the new downtown retail incubator, HATCH, 1302 Commercial St. A program of The Downtown Bellingham Partnership, the HATCH vacancy is open to inspire entrepreneurs through creative community programming to lease formerly dormant retail spaces downtown.

The kick-off celebration will feature all of the artists’ submissions, plus music by DJ Birdman of GMB Entertainment, and cold beverages from Kulshan Brewery.

Lydia Place seeks to end homelessness for individuals and families in Whatcom County. Wise Buys provides outreach, financial support and client resources to the community.

Ragfinery is a nonprofit training business and textile reuse center. Ragfinery collects unwanted garments and textiles and determines creative reuse value to keep them out of landfills.

Young thespians win in Seattle

School’s out, but in the past year a number of local young artists have garnered awards. On June 8, high school students from across Washington packed The 5th Avenue Theatre in Seattle for the 13th Annual 5th Avenue Awards honoring high school musical theater.

The event handed out awards in 21 categories, with a total of 18 high schools represented among the winners. Ferndale High student Hannah Sulak won Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role as Mary Poppins in “Disney and Cameron Mackintosh’s Mary Poppins.” She was slated to travel to the National High School Musical Theater Awards in New York City at the end of June.

▪ Other Whatcom County winners:

Outstanding Stage Crew; Ferndale High, “Disney and Cameron Mackintosh’s Mary Poppins.” Honorable mention; Lynden Christian High, “Disney’s Beauty and the Beast.” Special Honors, Student Achievement; Blaine High, Isabel Bushman. Outstanding Direction, honorable mention; Lynden Christian High, “Disney’s Beauty and the Beast.” Outstanding Lighting Design, honorable mention; Nooksack Valley High, “Once Upon A Mattress.” Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role, honorable mention; Isaiah Assink as The Beast, Lynden Christian High, “Disney’s Beauty and the Beast.” Special Honors, Educational Impact; Blaine High, “Disney’s Beauty and the Beast” and “The Unity Project: Soldat.”

▪ Other nominees: Outstanding Lighting Design; Lynden Christian High, “Disney’s Beauty and the Beast.” Outstanding Scenic Design; Ferndale High, “Disney and Cameron Mackintosh’s Mary Poppins.” Outstanding Costume Design; Ferndale High, “Disney and Cameron Mackintosh’s Mary Poppins.” Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role; Sam Vander Griend as Gaston, Lynden Christian High, “Disney’s Beauty and the Beast.” Outstanding Lobby Display; Blaine High, “The Unity Project: Soldat,” and Ferndale High, “Disney and Cameron Mackintosh’s Mary Poppins.” Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Featured Ensemble Role; Alex Gehringer as Maximus, Blaine High, “The Unity Project: Soldat.” Outstanding Performance by an Actor or Actress in a Non-Singing Role; Edward Saenz as King Sextimus, Nooksack Valley High, “Once Upon A Mattress.” Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble Cast; Blaine High, “The Unity Project: Soldat.” Outstanding Music Direction; Lynden Christian High, “Disney’s Beauty and the Beast.”

WWU sax quartet wins prestigious award

On June 6, at the close of the 26th annual Frances Walton Competition, the Ladies Musical Club of Seattle announced solo, small ensemble, and alternate winners who competed in the highly prized contest for young classical artists.

In the small ensemble category, the winner was the Equus Saxophone Quartet, comprised of four Western Washington University students: Soren Hamm, soprano saxophone; Matt Birmingham, alto saxophone; David Hoogkamer, tenor saxophone; and David Decker, baritone saxophone. They all study with Western instructor Fred Winkler.

Founded in 2013, the quartet supports contemporary music in the Northwest, working with local composers to premiere new works and presenting community performances. Equus won the 2014 Washington State and the 2015 Northwest Division Music Teachers National Association Chamber Winds competitions; took second in the 2014 Frances Walton Competition; and was a finalist in the Friends of Chamber Music in Vancouver, B.C.’s Young Chamber Music Players Competition, and the 2014 and 2015 MTNA Chamber Winds National competitions.

Reach Margaret Bikman at 360-715-2273 or margaret.bikman@bellinghamherald.com.

Ragfinery Upcycle ThrowDown: ragfinery.com, Shultzie Willows at shultziew@lydiaplace.org.

  Comments