Originally published by My Edmonds News, April 15th, 2024. Written by Nick Ng.

The Cascadia Art Museum hosted its annual Community Art Day on Sunday, featuring urban sketching with Urban Sketchers founder Gabriel Campanario, the Mountlake Terrace High School string quartet, collaborative painting, origami and more.

A few dozen attendees tried their artistic skills with painting a landscape on a canvas, creating an origami cup to hold French marigold seeds and making a print using acrylic paint and various types of leaves. 

Campanario presented at Community Art Day last year in May, and the museum asked him for an encore this year.

“On Community Art Day, we have several different events, and we’ve been working with SketcherFest Edmonds,” Cascadia Art Museum Director of Education Julie Olsen Anna said. “Also, we have musicians, such as musicians from Mountlake Terrace High School. At the end of the day, we have some family friendly films.”

Campanario shared his early experiences of urban sketching when was a teenager living in Montemolin, Spain. After he first moved to Seattle in 2006 and started to work at The Seattle Times as a graphic artist, his love of sketching rekindled and he started to sketch his environment almost daily.

“The idea of having a community art event brings the museum and the art closer to people who may not be thinking, ‘Oh, I’m going to spend the day at the museum,’” Campanario said. “It’s also an opportunity for me to talk about sketching, which is a very accessible form of art. I enjoy it!”

After his presentation, several people went outside and sketched on their pads for about an hour before convening inside the museum to look at everyone’s work.

“Sketching connects you with the place because you’re paying attention,” Campanario said. “And now we’re spending so much time looking at our phones and perhaps missing out on the real world.”

The next Cascadia Art Museum Community Art Day will be May 18 and is free for everyone. Julie said that attendees will learn to draw birds with a technique called mark making.

“It’s great to have our community visit the museum because not everyone knows about us,” she said. “We’d like to share Northwest art.”

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