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Gig Harbor Summer Art Festival

Celebrating the arts in the Puget Sound

“Black Oystercatchers” by printmaker Dona Reed, who’ll be present at this year’s arts festival. Photo courtesy of Dona Reed and Gig Harbor Summer Art Festival

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What is art if not something to bring our community together in celebration of beauty, in the Interest of opening dialogue or to inspire change? Most would agree that it's possible for art to do all three if presented to the right audience, at the right time. Thankfully, that time is fast approaching as the Gig Harbor Summer Art Festival kicks off this weekend in historic Gig Harbor.

"Artists from across the U.S. will be sharing their art and talent to enrich our lives with beauty, diversity and creativity," said Karen Robbins, an award-winning author participating in the upcoming arts festival. "There's always a wide variety of art represented with many artists demonstrating their skill."

The 34th annual Gig Harbor Summer Art Festival will take place Saturday and Sunday along Judson Street in Gig Harbor. The festival includes a juried art show featuring over 120 artists from across the Pacific Northwest, face painting and crafts for youth, food trucks, live music, a local art show and a literary corner.

"The festival provides an opportunity to meet talented artists, ask questions, and purchase a new piece of art to beautify your home. You might even become inspired to try a new craft yourself," said Robbins.

One of the most anticipated components of this year's arts festival is the Literary Corner, a literary-focused area of the festival featuring 16 regional authors. Here, festivalgoers can enjoy author readings, book signings and book sales by local authors.

"The festival offers a weekend of family fun, education, inspiration and learning for all ages," continued Robbins, who also happens to be an Amazon bestselling author.

As the headliner for this year's Literary Corner, Robbins will present her new photography collection, Flags Across America, which she co-wrote with Dale Baskin. The book includes over 300 photographs, vignettes, and folk and fine arts prints that celebrate the American flag.

"It's the biggest and most important book project of my life and it's perfectly timed for our country," said Robbins. "There will (also) be a talented group of local authors eager to share their books and autograph them personally for you at the festival."

Other participating authors include five local writers of the Tacoma-based nonprofit literary organization, Creative Colloquy. They are Jennifer Preston Chuschoff, DL Fowler, Richard Heller, Bethany Maines and Samuel Snoek-Brown.

"Authors love sharing their writing journey with others," said Robbins.

The summer art festival is presented by the Peninsula Art League, a group of artists "committed to celebrating the creative spirit" of their community, according to the league's website. The organization meets monthly in historic, waterfront Gig Harbor to hold meetings, present art exhibits, and participate in workshops and demos.

Proceeds from the festival go towards supporting art scholarships for local students and league members, as well as coordinating art exhibits, educational programs and workshops throughout the year.

GIG HARBOR SUMMER ART FESTIVAL, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday, July 21; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday, July 22, Judson St., Gig Harbor, free,

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