Off the Wall Artist Collective

November 27th, 2014

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One afternoon, huddled around steaming lattes in a local coffee shop, Bainbridge Island artists had an off-the-wall idea—starting a local artist collective. One year and 30 members later, Off the Wall Artist Collective has been feverishly creating all mediums of art, from music and film to bronze castings, paintings, fine jewelry, and many others. Pioneered by such locals as Juliette Wallace, Sean Sebastian, Susannah Schaeffer, and Kaylë Steele, the collective is comprised of all-aged and all-experienced artists in the greater Kitsap county area. Off the Wall believes that we all have something to teach each other and can do so through creative expression—especially if that creative expression exceeds the boundaries of commercial standards and ventures into the realm of avant-garde.

Although the island cherishes and nourishes artist culture in the forms of a monthly art walk and various galleries planted across our little rock—not to mention the abundance of inspirational natural beauty and vibrant community—artists in the Off the Wall collective desire to reach beyond watercolor sunsets and driftwood centerpieces. These artists never cease to be possessed by the spirit of art, finding time to create in every hour of every day. By giving themselves assignments that seem like challenges, Off the Wall Artist Collective strives not only to expand their knowledge of all mediums of art, but also about themselves as artists, both individually and as a group. The Nightwalker Series, Off The Wall’s version of “homework,” was created in order to challenge the artists by working within specific frames of time, beginning at conception and working through filming, editing, and scoring. The first episode was created by four artists in four hours.

The Nightwalker Series was born from Pizza Box Productions, the collective’s most recent side project that focuses on filmmaking. BOUND, the production’s first large-scale film, was created by 30 artists, in four separate locations, over seventeen hours, in one day. The film focuses on choices and the consequences of making poor decisions. Members of the collective have lost many close ones due to the dark path of drug use and excess. “We wanted to show how fast young people, especially those who have no sense of self or direction, can be consumed by the glamour of the party scene and fall prey to people with malevolent intentions,” wrote Juliette Wallace, one of Off The Wall’s founders and consistent visionaries. Another project of Pizza Box Productions, titled Life on a Rock, is a seven-minute short “about the hidden culture on Bainbridge Island, and how our youth can continue to sustain culture in an isolated environment,” explained Wallace. The project is still in progress and will be released in February of 2015.

Off the Wall took an unexpected turn at Life on a Rock, as more and more teens became interested in joining the collective. Adult members of Off the Wall have been inspired by these teens’ unfiltered creative visions, causing them to create an avenue for these teens to do more than inspire adults within the collective, but to inspire their peers in the collective’s Teen Group, consisting of artists aged 12 to 19, with a focus on freedom of expression and an emphasis on the completion of individual pieces of work. Off the Wall’s mentor program, separate from Teen Group, is yet another avenue for seasoned artists of all styles and mediums to share their talents with budding artists by hosting seminars, workshops, meetings, and personal feedback regarding individual artists and their growing portfolios.

Keep an eye—and an ear—out for Off the Wall’s next seasonal art show, an exhibition of the musical talents who record and practice in the collective’s musical hub, Bard Rock Studio, as well as art and other musical guests from the Puget Sound area.

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Contributed By Christine St.Pierre

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There is a new Sound Flow on Bainbridge Island, and it’s not the whispering breeze flowing in from across the deep blue waters surrounding our home. Dayaalu Center, the island’s year-old healing center with a focus on yoga, massage, acupuncture, Ayurveda, reiki, and other medical practices such as physical and occupational therapy, has made an imprint on the community’s Saturday morning routine by offering Sound Flow Yoga, hosted by yoga instructor Jeny Rae and local musician Jon Crane.

Join members of the island community at nine o’clock in the morning in the warm embrace of Dayaalu’s beautiful property nestled on Wyatt Way NE. Dayaalu, meaning “compassion” in Sanskrit, is one of many emotions conjured upon walking through the beautiful wood-framed entryway into the open bodywork center with incredible wood floors, serene colors, and a tranquil energy. While Jeny Rae guides your body through a kundalini flow, Jon Crane will guide the rhythm through the use of drums, singing bowls, and gong. “When your heartbeat matches to the beat of a drum, that synchronization pulls you toward a deeper connection with all that is,” Rae describes.

While the wide variety of yoga classes offered by this and many other yoga centers may seem overwhelming to begin with, Dayaalu center strives to create a welcoming environment by highly capable teachers with a passion for empowering you to know and love your body and mind. Dayaalu’s commitment to the island community is apparent through their offerings of concerts, dance, seasonal celebrations, and retreats — truly a gem of interconnectedness to each other, our bodies, and the natural and spiritual world around us. If intuitive healing and bodywork speak to you, explore Dayaalu’s vini-theraputic, Tai Chi, integral, or restorative yoga practices; to bring greater intensity to your exercise, experience Dayaalu’s yoga & core and Hatha flow.

After fulfilling the mind-body-soul connection, follow the alluring scents of hot soup and fresh treats around the corner to Dayaalu’s Sukhi Kitchen, a quaint café that offers locally sourced, vegan and gluten-free dishes cooked in the small space just over the counter. Ranging from soups, salads, snacks, and treats, arrive during lunchtime on weekdays to enjoy Sukhi’s hot dishes, or use Dayaalu’s easy payment system to purchase pre-made, health-centered meals from the refrigerator during the center’s business hours. This is a wonderful alternative for those of us working in the Winslow area. And, if you are in the area and need to center and ground yourself during your lunch break, the center offers free lunchtime meditation—because they are here for you.

Dayaalu’s one year anniversary party is this Saturday, November 22nd at 7PM

Check Willap Hills Cheese website for their gourmet gift packages, full of delicious treats personally selected by Amy & Stephen to complement Willapa Hills Big Boy Blue, Two Faced Blue and Pluvius, as well as their Artisan Cream Cheese Spreads. Great for gifts for family, business associates or holiday hosts!

Priced from $49.95, the gift boxes fit any budget, and shipping is included to Washington & Oregon.

Please call 360-291-EWES for shipping rates to other US states.

Ordering & Shipping Details: Orders received by Thursday at 3:00 pm (Pacific Standard Time) will be shipped the following Wednesday for Thursday or Friday delivery.

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Pierce County News did a spot on a couple of our local meat producers (Perry Schermerhorn & Becky Weed) and the Puget Sound Meat Cooperative’s mobile slaughter trailer… take a look. Becky Weed raises the beef we eat at our restaurants. It is all processed by the trailer in the video. Click on the link:

Pierce County News - Meet the Farmer

A garden flourishes in the spring and summer, bursting with color and bountiful harvests. Slowly, each of these lively plants will begin to wilt, dropping leaves and sinking closer to the ground. Eventually, the garden will decompose and freeze through the duration of winter. It isn’t until spring draws near that we must ponder the garden once again, accounting for the perennials that will awaken at the thawing of Earth to relive their dependable and vibrant cycle. The annuals are but a memory, their passionate bursts of life having ended at the first frost, and we must rethink and redistribute these varieties in different parts of the garden—places they’ve never been, where the soil is richer and the sun shines bright.

Since childhood, I’ve lived my life as an annual among perennials, giving every ounce of my spirit and energy and love to each steadfast community that welcomes me with open and productive arms. While the community and landscape of Bainbridge Island is and will remain nourishing enough to bring me back to life over and over again, I must move on and plant my delicate roots in the rich soil of Bellingham Bay. My life on Bainbridge Island altered my future forevermore—as would any life after living in such an empowering and mesmerizing environment. I was so inspired by the idea of regenerating the wealth of knowledge and inspiration I received from various sources on the island—YES! Magazine, our local farming programs, the community and music revolving around Pegasus Coffee House, and YOU—that I applied for and was accepted into Woodring College of Education’s Master in Teaching program at Western Washington University in Bellingham.

The bittersweet transition came quickly, and as eager as I was to get to the new community and environment I now call home, I knew that leaving came at the cost of becoming unfrozen in the timeless sphere beneath which all of us live blissfully on the island. I thought it was gone forever, the equity and togetherness and solidarity and passion and art and Earthly wonders, and prepared myself for withdrawal. But, then I arrived in Whatcom County, where the sun sets the sky ablaze and illuminates the art-covered buildings, garden-covered yards, bike-covered streets, and forest-covered valley between the Salish Sea and the North Cascade range. Here, the community is as vibrant and innovative as the island’s—in fact, the community is quite shared. The Bainbridge to Bellingham pipeline is real, as the exodus of young adventurers brings their journey to the trails and sidewalks of my new beloved streets, where we share music, friendships, art, and a passion for social justice and sustainability.

The Bellingham community is a macro version of our tight island family, made even more vibrant by the transient annuals amongst the homesteading perennial that come together to create a wild and productive multipurpose garden. Here, doors and minds are open, and the last days of sunlight pour inside of both as the mass migration of students inspires an even more bustling community, with events and music and food and beer—endless beer from tens of breweries around every corner—that nourish this hardy garden in the wake of winter. As I write my final words of farewell to you, island community, I smile at the thought of knowing you here, in various forms and faces, and look forward to connecting our communities in the future. Until next time.

–Christine St. Pierre

Friday nights have an air of excitement to them; many have wrapped up a week of nine to five and look forward to spending time with family and friends in the traditional “eat, drink, and be merry” fashion. Bainbridge Island has a wide variety of restaurants and bars that offer scenic venues for gatherings, but on the first Friday of each month, the city takes things a step further by providing our community with the First Friday Art Walk, a gallery hop and dining experience.

This event features visual art on display at the many galleries and boutiques that line downtown Winslow, from oil, acrylic, and watercolor paintings to sculptures crafted from various mediums, blown glass, and textiles. Beginning at 6 PM and wrapping up at 8, the tour is designed to begin at the Bainbridge Island Museum of Art, located corner of 305 and Winslow, allowing for travelers from Seattle and beyond to jump right in after departing the ferry. Heading west from there, gallery-goers can visit places like Bainbridge Arts and Crafts, The Island Gallery, Roby King Galleries, Mesolini Glass, Millstream, and the Stephen Fey Photography Gallery. Many of these destinations feature art created by locals, including youth galleries!

Now for the “eat, drink’ part of the evening—many galleries provide refreshments, including snacks, tapas, and drinks. Akin to any other gallery opening, you can enjoy the company of your community and incredible visual art while sipping on local wine. In between galleries, enjoy a meal catered to the art walk with small plates and tapas that will get you out the door quickly yet satisfied, leaving plenty of time to enjoy more of what the First Friday Art Walk has to offer. For a quick snack, take a detour to Blackbird Bakery, Fork & Spoon, or Pegasus Coffee House and enjoy baked goods and café menu items. Otherwise, indulge in a dinner experience at Four Swallows, Harbour Public House, or Hitchcock Restaurant that includes small plates and weekend specials.

The event occurs early enough in the evening to bring the whole family along! Gather together and enjoy our finals weeks under the warm summer sun for an evening of art, food, family, and friends.

http://www.bainbridgedowntown.org/art

Community members of Bainbridge Island have recently come together in solidarity and opposition to the Visconsi development at the corner of High School Road and 305, directly across from Ace Hardware. The forest will be clear-cut and the land developed into yet another shopping center, equipped with yet another franchise drug store, medical building, and plenty of room for restaurants and retail. You may think to yourself, “Wait, there’s already one cattycorner to this, right across the street!” And you’d be right. Which is why, right now, and every evening from 5-7, local protestors will line the sidewalks, wielding signs that read “NO MALL SPRAWL,” “Bring Real Business,” and “Do we need more empty retail?”

While this current struggle is not new to the island, local and state-wide media have revived the story thanks to 19-year-old activist Chiara D’Angelo’s tree sit, rigged 70 feet high in a Douglas Fir. With eyes on Bainbridge Island, organizations such as Environmental Bainbridge and Islanders for Responsible Development are feverishly organizing participatory action to protest the environmental destruction and boycott the soon-to-be 62,000-square-foot shopping center.

In April of 2013, Visconsi, an Ohio-based company, filed an application for land development of forestland that provides vital habitat to many species and is a part of protected wetland. The application included a tree removal permit, which would validate the clear-cutting of 830 trees. One month later, the group Environmental Bainbridge formed, and began grassroots organization within the community to protect this space and promote local businesses over monopolistic franchises.

Months later, in November of 2013, the COBI (City of Bainbridge Island) Planning Commission announced absolutely “no support” for the development whatsoever. Simultaneously, citizens voiced unanimous opposition in public and private meetings. According to Environment Bainbridge, the development is out of scale in location and zoning, violates COBI environmental goals, makes no attempt at saving native trees, misclassifies adjacent wetland, and is not consistent with the island’s comprehensive plan, despite the lead architect’s initial assurance. Furthermore, the development is in direct violation of COBI Municipal Code 19.06.040 A., stating, “The purpose of the High School Road zones is to provide commercial uses that complement downtown Winslow.” I’ll repeat: “complements downtown Winslow”—not competes with!

The cherry on top for many islanders—aside from the aforementioned environmental and economic impacts—is the increase in traffic, particularly for those living in neighborhoods connected or close to the new development. Not only will this have an adverse effect on the island’s goal of a reduced carbon footprint, but will act as a bottleneck for the only gateway to and from the ferry, potentially causing commuter issues.

Unfortunately, the trees have fallen, the land is scarred, and development is underway. The city heard its people urge against this development and succumbed to the forces of mega-capital. This is not deterring local activists, who continue to protest, rally, write letters, make phone calls to key opposition figures, canvas neighborhoods, and engage the community by setting a goal to tell 10 other people about the logistics of the development. Many islanders have also declared a seven-year commitment to boycott all businesses in the development, and urge others to do the same. Visit the website of Environmental Bainbridge to learn more about this local issue and take action.

Buy Nothing, Bainbridge!

August 13th, 2014

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Never have I lived in such a giving community. While working a shift at Pegasus Coffee House, a customer overheard that I missed out on a coffee grinder during the Rotary Auction and surprised me by bringing an extra one that she had at home a week later! Such kindness does not go unnoticed, or un-circulated. In fact, Bainbridge Island has an entire community of givers who are actively relinquishing old items to neighbors in need, or receiving items that they have a specific need for.

The project, called Buy Nothing Bainbridge, promotes random acts of kindness, all day long. With the perfect balance of technology and community, the Buy Nothing Project began a Facebook group within which members of their community could post a “give” or an “ask.” The most difficult part of the process is deciding which member to give or receive from, as so many folks are offering to help. This amazing service enables communities to commit acts of daily good together, and creates an opportunity for more introverted community members who do less socializing to create new bonds over shared interests and get to know the people living around them!

There have been many innovative ways in which the Buy Nothing Project has been utilized. Buy Nothing weddings and birthdays are a growing trend; the goal is to spend next to nothing on an event that typically costs many hundreds or thousands of dollars, and still have a beautiful, unique, and cherished day made even more special because of its incredible community support.

I have both seen and experienced many acts of kindness through this forum, particularly for folks who haven’t the money to purchase things they may want or need for their household that many, more fortunate individuals may have stacked in the garage. I received a free bed. My roommate received a free tent, and a DVD/VCR player was donated to our household! The also reduces waste, offering ways to rid your household of unwanted items that may otherwise end up in the trash, such as old binders, folders, plastic children’s toys, construction material, etc.

The Buy Nothing Project can also be quite miraculous. Often, members of the community will offer something of great value in a raffle style drawing. “Pick a number between 1 and 1000,” the caption might read, and the winner receives an espresso machine, pair of skis, lawn mower, or home cooked meal! Artists will donate beautiful pieces worth hundreds of dollars. Photographers will offer sessions for free on a weekend. Special services will be offered, such as dinner on a beautiful piece of farmland, a sailboat ride, massages, lessons of any kind—truly, the list goes on. Anything and everything that could be given, offered, needed, or wanted can be found through this project.

Other examples of ways you can participate by donating or requesting: clothing, household decorations, holiday decorations, tutoring, baby supplies, children’s toys, athletic training, books, outdoor gear, furniture, appliances, art, music, and, the best part: food! Prepared foods or farm fresh foods are often offered, as many individuals will have extra eggs from their personal coop, too many loaves of fresh bread, an over sized kombucha SCOBY that can be divvied out, tomatoes coming out of their ears, or a heaping pile of compost that’s just gotten a little too big.

To participate, type “Buy Nothing Bainbridge” in the search bar on Facebook and request to join. Once you’ve been accepted into the group (which is filtered simply to assure that members are within the community) scroll through new and old posts to get the vibe and see how members communicate. There are other Buy Nothing Projects, including one in Kitsap County. If you tell a friend about the project and they adore the idea, urge them to start one in their own community, too, by visiting buynothingproject.org and spearheading the newest and greatest thing to happen to communities in a very long time!

Triple Trivia

July 29th, 2014

Some weeks seem longer than others, and if your routine consists of commuting to and from work, arriving home, spending a few hours with family, and then doing it all again the next day, it might feel good to shake things up a bit, get out of the house, and let loose with a group of friends.

The neighborhood bar seems like a good option, but you want to do more than stare at the television across the bar. Instead, hit the town to play a stimulating round of trivia, and even walk out with extra cash in your pocket!

Trivia Time Live is a Pacific Northwest team trivia brigade that hosts trivia in Kitsap County almost nightly, with two of these events taking place on Bainbridge Island and one just across the bridge! Instead of a quiet bar and monotonous questions, these trivia games are bustling with energy, featuring good music, food and drink specials, and a rambunctious crowd ready to have a great time. The entertaining hosts (including our beloved Jane Darrah) prepare each trivia night with a roster of stimulating questions, and teams compete for a prize or pennant to stake your claim as reigning champion. You may surprise yourself with how well you play—seemingly useless information can make the difference between a team success and fueling your fire to win next week.

Jane in action

Jane in action

For a weekday getaway, head to the Bainbridge Island Brewery & Taproom on Thursday nights from 7-9 to enjoy fantastic local beer and an absolutely full house of happy trivia goers. Come alone, or play on a team at the brewery trivia events—dogs are welcome, so bring in your canine companion for some moral support! Another trivia event on Bainbridge Island takes place on Saturdays at Island Grill, starting at 8 PM. Here, you can order from a full menu and have a cocktail from the friendly bartenders behind their full bar.

Just outside the island, Suquamish’s Clearwater Casino entertains Trivia Time Live every Wednesday in the Beach Rock Lounge starting at 8 PM. Teams can have up to 10 players and compete in four rounds of trivia. At halftime, the leading team gets a round of drinks for half price, and there are cash prizes for placing in the top three teams!

Follow Team Trivia Live on Facebook to read the weekly hint that can be used as a clue to answer a bonus question, chat with other Trivia Time teams, and stay excited about spending a night out with friends sharing drinks and laughs, and maybe even a winning prize!

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