Wednesday, September 8, 2010


The dictionary definition of community according to Miriam-Webster Dictionary is : a unified body of individuals: as  the people with common interests living in a particular area : an interacting population of various kinds of individuals (as species) in a common location. 

Here in Friday Harbor, I helped to establish the Friday Harbor Gallery Association , a loosely [especially for Friday Harbor] group of small business that are all involved in the business of ART. Ranging from a broad smorgasbord of locally based arts and crafts, [Island Studio]  to specializing in the best of Native arts from NW tribes [Arctic Raven] to a talented husband and wife team showcasing their unique artworks [ Gallery San Juan] to a dedicated representative of a way of art not much practiced ie scrimshaw [ Howie Rosenfeld]  and my gallery [Waterworks Gallery] whose mission is to represent artists whose works reflect the Northwest experience.

These diverse organizations are the Friday Harbor Gallery Association, all working to foster the celebration, cultivation and the collecting of artwork, right here in Friday Harbor, San Juan
Island, Washington state. 
This service is for the benefit of the local community and visitor.

In this diverse island, there are other communities that gather for a purpose, the theater groups, Island Stage Left and the San Juan Island Community Theater. Both organizations offer a diverse palette rich in both theater, music and Shakespeare for the benefit of the local community and visitor.

Kudos to the Port of Friday Harbor for their support of the burgeoning local music scene by sponsoring a concert series of live music that lasted all summer long down at the Port stage.
This series is for the benefit of the local community and visitor.

Island Rec with their Music on the Lawn series [ waterworks gallery has been a supporter for the past ten years] supported by various business including Islanders Bank, IPS. This series is for the benefit and enjoyment of the local community and visitors.

The reason for this rambling is to show the community as one that comes together for many cultural , and artistic functions and events . 
WE as  a community share these assets with the community.
WE are proud of the resources we share.

My point ? This community has no community meetings spot , has no town square, has no community space to share .
This community has no heart and soul spot.

This community has recently gone through a process concerning a proposed green space and farmers market that was political, contentious and created many camps both pro and con. 
This process was the reverse of  typical political process where a few voices against were able to outweigh the many voices in favor of the project. 
The political process is not at it's finest, not listening to it's constituency.

Irregardless of what you think or feel for the project, what has been lost in my eyes was the ability to create a green space, , a gathering space, , a town square, , a place for people to congregate.

The additional benefits of a farmer's market is the local food distribution, a community kitchen to foster new local products and projects, and perhaps new local business and a most important benefit to this community - a place of gathering , a place for the creation of a community space for this community.

This is about making changes in a community that has a hard time with change.
Change is difficult.

Part of this project is also a legacy project - changing the landscape of of this community to do the RIGHT thing for the future of the community.

In the great depression the WPA fostered and created many buildings that are still  in active use today, many years later. ie the Mt Hood Timberline Lodge. These buildings were done with government monies to keep people and artisans employed. With the state grant that was made available, Friday Harbor had the opportunity to create a legacy for the community.

Let's not loose the momentum to create a community space for our community.!

Plan to attend the Brickwork's Rising Event at San Juan Vineyards on Sunday, September 12, 4-8pm.
If you can make a donation to support this process, with your help we can make a difference in the  landscape of Friday Harbor.


Exciting  news about the Brickwork's project  SJI Agricultutal Guild Blog


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