Artists On Whidbey

Look back through many of these posts and notice how many of them mention art events, or art for sale, or Whidbey’s identity as an arts community. This post is to and about the artists. Behind the galleries, theater performances, music festivals is a loose, and understandably creative, network of artists. Sometimes the groups are officially non-profits with boards and tax forms. (Feeling Charitable On Whidbey) Sometimes it is a group of similar artists. It is so extensive that it can’t be chronicled in one post, but here’s a sample.

Blame Whidbey Island Arts Council (WIAC)  because they just invited me to become a member.

They list visual artists, performing artists, writers and poets, and culinary artists. That should cover almost everything, right? Well,…

Whidbey Island Center for the Arts (WICA) is known for its emphasis on performing arts: theater, music, etc. In their neighborhood is also Whidbey Island Dance Theater (WIDT), Outcast Productions, Whidbey Children’s Theater, and undoubtedly others. Don’t forget Whidbey Playhouse.

By this point you may have noticed that there’s pride in being part of Whidbey because it is in many of names, which can also be a bit confusing.

Pacific Northwest Art School has an emphasis on fiber arts, mixed media, painting, and photography, and ? 

And then there are endeavors like WritingOnWhidbeyIsland.com, two writers who unofficially and totally on a volunteer basis interview other members of the Whidbey writing community. (I’m one of the two.)

Rummage around and find groups like Island Bohemians (private), Whidbey Working Artists, Artists of South Whidbey, Whidbey Island Music Jam Group, and then there are the dance groups, and camera clubs, and, and, … And you may get the idea of why it would be hard to quickly compile the list.

The Open Studio Tour, Art Walks, gallery shows, and various performances are where the artists can meet with the patrons, or at least folks who appreciate what artists create; but before those things happen artists typically are meeting with other artists in a quieter fashion. That’s where artists find support from other artists before art is ready to be seen and shown.

If you’re an artist, know that you aren’t alone. Langley was even officially designated a Creative District, though it might be appropriate to expand that from Deception Pass to Possession Point.  If you’re new to the island or new to being an artist, welcome. You’ve got a lot of people to meet, and a lot of art to create. Great!


PS Apologies to all of the art groups that were left out. You are welcome, encouraged,  and definitely invited to include yourself in the Comments. Maybe we can compile a list – or find out who already has.

3 thoughts on “Artists On Whidbey

  1. Thank you for the mention, Tom! Some of the organizations mentioned here got their start as Whidbey Island Arts Council (WIAC) sponsored programs. WIAC has been helping to keep Whidbey creative for over 40 years.

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  2. I was recently reminded by Peggy Juve that Whidbey Island Center for the Arts, Whidbey Children’s Theatre and Island Shakespeare Festival all got their starts as sponsored programs of Whidbey Island Arts Council (supporting the arts on Whidbey since 1980!).

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