Sammamish Arts Fair creates place for creativity
October 10, 2013
By Neil Pierson
Eric Montoya has been part of dozens of art exhibits and programs since graduating from the Art Institute of Seattle in 1987, but his appearance at this weekend’s Sammamish Arts Festival is happening somewhat by chance.
Montoya recently moved from Seattle to Sammamish, and while his paintings have been viewed at galleries from coast to coast, he’s never participated in a small, local event like this year’s seventh annual incarnation at Sammamish City Hall.
“I saw the arts fair and thought it was a great way to get involved in the community,” said Montoya, who also had his work on display at the upscale Sammamish Nights event in August.
“For me, what’s neat about it is seeing the community come out,” he said. “There’s something about being closer to the arts, closer to the event, and it’s just kind of fun.”
Much of Montoya’s works are oil-based canvas paintings. He’s inspired by many things, including his 3-year-old daughter, the plants in his garden, and the complexity of American society.
Montoya’s “Memoir Americana” series reflects his thoughts of “how we see ourselves as Americans,” he said. The paintings include depictions of the Space Needle, Midwestern farms and mountain rivers.
The Sammamish Arts Fair will feature 29 artists in various mediums, including watercolors, woodworking and jewelry. Seventeen of the artists live in Sammamish.
Issaquah resident Katya Palladina will be showcasing her photography. She grew up in the former Soviet Union and moved to the United States in 2001.
Palladina’s education included time at one of Russia’s oldest art institutes – the Stroganov Moscow State University of Arts and Industry – and she’s dabbled in everything from painting to drawing to sculpturing.
But photography is her true calling.
“In the Soviet Union, everyone had a camera and people really passionate about film and standing photography,” she said. “I kind of grew up with my father’s camera.”
Palladina has designed the promotional poster for the Sammamish Arts Fair for the past three years, and her work includes freelance assignments and teaching at a Montessori school in Issaquah.
She said she’s “in love with all things” and derives artistic pleasure from the most obscure and mundane aspects of life.
“I look through the eye of an artist, not through the technical aspects of photography,” she explained. “It’s not the main goal for me to create technically perfect images. For me, images have a message of their own on the level that art does.”
This year’s fair will include eight student artists – Kyle Patterson, a Skyline High School graduate who attends the University of Washington; current Skyline students Sampuna Basu, Sabrina Fischer, Zoe Kreutzer, Rohini Mettu, Ishira Parikh and Sofia Ramirez; and Eastside Catholic student Sarabhi Sonali.
Both days of the fair will feature interactive events in the Sammamish Library.
On Oct. 12, children can participate in quilt making, drawing, face painting and puppet shows. On Oct. 13, two Sammamish-based studios – Henry and Mei, and Studio H – will offer art activities.
If you go
What: Seventh annual Sammamish Arts Fair
When: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Oct. 12-13
Where: Sammamish City Hall
Featured artists: Elena Balekha, Dorothy Bonneau, Jacqueline Calladine, Michael Cantu, June Casper, Leslie Culbertson, Betsy Dahlstrom, Shaun Gardner, Donna Gelinas, Linda Gisbrecht, Becky Jeanes, Ken Kisch, Mireille Kools, Sweney Kuo, Anna Macrae, Eric Montoya, Leslie Nan Moon, Kat Morrell, Peter Ogden, Darlene Olds, Katya Palladina, Andrea Prudente, Carol Ross, Jerry Steffen, Carole Weaks, Pamela Wickard, Paula Wickersham, Xiang Zhang, Al Zold.