As The City of Kenmore was being formed in 1998, local artist Florence Lindstrom and her husband, Roland, proposed that the new city have an art show. With avid supporters of the arts, the Lindstrom's began their quest with a trial show for the members of The Northlake Lutheran Church. Roland designed and built display flats and sculpture artist Dr. Howard Dale loaned his display pedestals. The art show was small, but successful.
Following that first show, the church council expressed a willingness to host a larger show for The City of Kenmore, and the city agreed to sanction the effort. A sponsoring group was necessary, and the law firm of Williams & Williams prepared necessary paperwork to form The Kenmore Arts & Events Council, an organization with officers Roland N. Lindstrom, Marge Dale and Jeanie McBee. The organization then moved towards a non-profit status.
The first Kenmore Art Show took place in late August 1999, corresponding with the cities first birthday. Additional display flats and pedestals were constructed, artists were invited to enter their works and Mayor Jack Crawford awarded prizes. With the show being successful, an annual event began. With each annual show, the entries continued to double and the show grew professionally. The show has between 500-700 entries, with 6 categories (Painting/Drawing, Photography, Youth, Artisan Works, Sculpture, Miniatures), and paid jurors (judges). The show runs for 10 days, with 4 days open to the public. This is a great show that runs solely on the backs of many hard working volunteers.
With the rapidly expanding interest in photography, due to digital technology, it became necessary to move the photography category to a larger area. New track lighting and a more advanced hanging system installed, the number of increased entries could be accommodated.
Each year a featured "Guest Artist" is asked to display a collection of works in the church library, which is reserved for this special honor. These works can be for sale or viewing, such as the artist chooses.
The art show also incorporates a "Festival of the Arts", featuring free one-hour performances every evening by various local performers.
Each year the Art Show presents the City of Kenmore a gift of artwork from the show with a value of $500. This can be one piece or several smaller pieces. Through this program the city is slowly acquiring an impressive collection of art pieces, all displayed in the Kenmore City Hall. To make the collection even better, in 2005, the city council approved a separate art purchase valued at $500. Often the 2 funds are combined to purchase an item or items valued at $1000.
There was an increasing need for a membership organization to fully promote the arts and the art show, and in 2000, The Arts of Kenmore was formed. Its mission; "To encourage and promote both passive and active participation in all forms of the arts by the citizens of the area for the enrichment of the community." The original Kenmore Arts & Events Council name was officially changed to "The Arts of Kenmore".
The Arts of Kenmore sponsors the annual Kenmore Art Show and Festival, as well as, several other major arts events annually.
The Arts of Kenmore School Relations and Grants program currently offers each school in the Inglemoor HS feeder pattern grants to help underwrite arts programs not funded with school district funds. Each year, since the starting, The Arts of Kenmore has been able to fund approximately $3200 in grants. The Kenmore schools are Inglemoor High School, Kenmore Junior High, Arrowhead Elementary, Kenmore Elementary, Lockwood Elementary and Moorlands Elementary.
Additionally, for some years The Arts of Kenmore assisted Northlake Lutheran Church in hosting the Northshore PTSA "Reflections Show" which features students artwork. Local winners go on to a State Competition, which in turn can move on to the National Competition. The church made space available and The Arts of Kenmore loans and sets up its display flats and provides other assistance.
In 2011, Roland Lindstrom resigned as the Chairman of The Kenmore Art Show and Festival after 13 shows. A committee was formed by JoAnn Evans and David Maehren to carry on the tradition. The group that came together moved the Kenmore Art Show to its current location at Bastyr University, Kenmore, WA and constructed 50 new displays and changed the dates to June. They also successfully resurrected the Youth category which worked more appropriately with the school year ending.
We would also like to take this time to thank all of the supporters and volunteers that have worked very diligently and tirelessly over the past years, to make this organization so successful.
Roland N. Lindstrom, Past President/Founder of The Arts of Kenmore