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Arts Scene: Fresh Air Art Celebration springs to life

Kellie Connaughton, executive director at Yakima Greenway, and I have been talking for a few years about partnering with the Larson Gallery to have an event at the Greenway. One of the ideas was to have a day of plein-air, a term used to denote the manner of a 19th-century style of painting outdoors. Artists would be positioned outside where people could observe them painting.

Sharing this idea with the Larson Gallery Guild board, it developed into an event now called the Fresh Air Art Celebration.

The Larson Gallery Guild is a nonprofit operation that supports programming at the Larson Gallery including, publications and materials, special events, lectures, workshops, visiting artists, staffing, and jurors. Beginning as a “friends” group in 1955, they became a registered nonprofit in 1965.

Since the pandemic, they have been unable to conduct the annual Tour of Artists’ Homes and Studios, so decided to have an event where everyone could be outside.

From the first call for artists, there has been a steady stream of applications, culminating with a final count of 37 artists, from painters to ceramicists to wood-turners, attendees will enjoy seeing a variety of media and demonstrations.

The Fresh Air Art Celebration will be held this Saturday, July 24, from 10 a.m.- 3 p.m. The event will have free admission and be situated near Sarg Hubbard Park in the green space behind the Merci Train exhibit. Artists will have art available for purchase.

In addition to artists, you will hear live music from Brittany Berger, Israel Zepeda, Colby Fowler, Samantha Sugihara, and Johnny Ponderosa throughout the day. Nana Kate (Selah Springs Brewing Co.), Yakima Ice Company, Tacos Don Chayo, and The Rambler will also have food available for purchase.

Children will also enjoy activities near the Larson Gallery membership booth.

The full lineup of artists include Ronda Knight, Meldra Driscoll, Lani Black, Larry Miller, Yakima Valley Bonsai Society, Michelle Gilbert, Serena Smith, Marianne Shapiro, Luis Ramirez, Trevor Ingalls, Cecilia Hudon, Susan Hahn, Darcie Roberts, Jane Cooper, Cydney Bacon, John Barany, T. A. Harris, Jeffrey Reynolds, Calista Graaff, Michelle Fortier, Kate Bowditch, Eunsil Kim, Janice Baker, Duane Reed, Kiata Castro, Cathy Lapsley, Kathryn Kaye, Madeline Aliso and Emi Ramirez, Victoria Urruita, Ashley Cardenas, Rachel Dorn, Debbie Sundlee, Wendy McAleer, Alecia Fish, Francisco Maltos, Amanda Ontiveros, and Elizabeth de Oca.

• David Lynx is executive director of the Larson Gallery at Yakima Valley College. He writes this weekly column for SCENE. Learn more at