On Thursday, December 15, The Stanwood-Camano Art Advocacy Commission (SCAAC) hosted an “Open House” at the Floyd in Stanwood. It was kind of our coming out party, to share our organization with the community, reveal details about the future art center to be built in Stanwood and a traveling mini-art center, and to raise money for the cause. We also celebrated a partnership with the Floyd where local artists painted historic artifacts preserved there. Tapped, a restaurant at the Camano Marketplace, catered the event, and their food and drink was delicious!

The community came out in force.

Cat Olson did a great job of organizing the event! She welcomed the guests.

and shared about the different things they could do at the event including a table for kids to draw, imagining the mural on the side of the upcoming mobile art center, two round trip Alaskan Airline tickets that were being raffled, enjoying the art and meeting the artists who had painted the Historic Society’s artifacts, and of course the food and drink.

Cat noted the great article that had just come out in the Stanwood-Camano news about the Pusey Family Foundation gift of a building for the future art center. You can read that article here: https://www.goskagit.com/scnews/news/artists-get-the-keys-to-a-future-arts-center-in-west-stanwood/article_6d3498c6-759a-11ed-9d2d-e76b62f9c8ea.html. And she shared the exciting opportunity to double any money given with a $10,000 matching grant. We were able to raise over 10K at the event and so we did receive the matching money!

Cat also shared the awesome news that Camano resident and renowned mural artist Shogo Ota will be designing the mural for the mobile art center.

I talked about the Past, Present and Future.

In regards to the past I shared how in 1946, just after WWII, when the British Prime Minister, rallied people and nations with his immortal words like, “Come, let us go forward together in our united strength,” my grandfather, “Doc” Dodgson and his family including my mother Ann had moved to a thirty acre farm on southwest Camano Island. Doc Dodgson was one of two or three doctors practicing in the Stanwood-Camano area. He drove to his office in east Stanwood every day, passing the hardware store run by the Pusey family. I imagine that he stopped there often for hardware to keep his beloved farm in tip-top shape. The Pusey’s had opened their hardware store in the 1930s and ran it into the 1960’s. That was when Dad, legendary artist Jack Dorsey, and mom and I moved into a little white house on ten acres, a house without running water and electricity, that had been given as a gift by Doc to them; that gift allowed Dad to launch his career as a professional artist. I shared about how I imagined my uncle Ken Day, who in the early 80’s was Mayor of Stanwood, shopped for furniture at the old hardward-now-furniture store to use in the house he turned into a bed and breakfast. That house is now called “Stanwood House” and it is run by artists Chaim Bezalel and Yonnah Ben-Levy. I talked about how others like past Washington Senator Mary Margaret Haugen and my eight grade history teacher Dave Eldridge had contributed to the Stanwood-Camano community. The point I was making about the past was that all of these people shared a common connection and commitment to work for the common good of Stanwood-Camano.

In regards to the present, I shared how in 2015 our family had moved back to the northwest, how as the chair of the Camano Art Association I had led us in a time of strategic planning to carry out our vision to be a center and destination for art in the northwest. I talked about how one of the initiatives of the strategic plan was to built partnership between the art organizations, artists, civic and educational institutions, and businesses of our region. The dream was to sit at the same table and work together to promote art in our region until we reached a “tipping point” where Stanwood-Camano was famous and flourished as an art center and community. We called this group of people who came together monthly to dream and work on this the Stanwood-Camano Art Advocacy Commission. I shared how in 2019, I had been approached by Theresa Metzger who told me she had a friend who was interested in making a major donation of a building and funding for an art center and they were interested in partnering with our organization. This catalyzed our group. We formed as a 501c3, and we have an amazing board working together with Cat to see this dream of an art center come true. This board team, and the other commission members, are living out the words of Churchill: “Come, let us go forward together in our united strength.”

Finally, in regards to the future, I shared how people could put their shoulder to the plow and help us make this big, bold dream happen. Here are some of the ways you can too:

  • Share the exciting news of what is going on
  • Sign up to be on SCAAC’s mailing list and receive our newsletter to know what is happening
  • Be a part of the SCAAC community
  • Serve on a SCAAC committee
  • Give to the project

It was a super fun, exciting and future-oriented meeting. If you weren’t able to be there, at least you can enjoy these photographs by Badgley Photography @badgleyphotography.

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