Benji Pierson, the organizer of the upcoming Freestyle art event at Arts Alive!, is putting the finishing touches on “Skywalker,” a piece that is currently displayed at the nonprofit’s building on Cole Street. Pierson’s art style is based in science fiction, especially Star Wars. Photo by Ray Miller-Still

Benji Pierson, the organizer of the upcoming Freestyle art event at Arts Alive!, is putting the finishing touches on “Skywalker,” a piece that is currently displayed at the nonprofit’s building on Cole Street. Pierson’s art style is based in science fiction, especially Star Wars. Photo by Ray Miller-Still

Come meet local artists at Arts Alive!

A June 29 event will be hosting a dozen artists making art at the end of Cole Street.

Have you ever wanted to meet some local artists, or even watch them create their art in person?

Arts Alive! is hosting Freestyle, a live painting event, so Enumclaw residents can do just that, as well as support the construction of a modern skating venue at Garrett Park.

The event stars a dozen Plateau artists: Quincy Quigg, Brian Meier, Glory Cancro, Molly Tanner Smith, Nancy Cary, Dan and Brayden Rogel, Elaine Lynst, Daija Dragness, Judy Olson, and Benji Pierson, who has taken on organizing the event.

“You get to see all the artists in their element,” Pierson said.

Each artist will have their own space inside (or because Cancro is known for her chalk art, outside) so they can paint, draw, sculpt, or use any other medium as attendees study their techniques or even interact with the artists and ask them questions.

Members of the snowboarding or skateboarding clique may recognize Quigg and Pierson’s names, as they both have done board art for several well-known companies.

“I work for Quicksilver, and he works for LIB Tech, so we worked for the same athletes, just for different companies,” Pierson said, adding they’ve both done work for Travis Rice, a professional snowboarder and film producer who has won gold in the Winter X Games events.

Meier may ring a bell for others; he’s the owner of Brazen Heart Tattoo in Buckley.

And still more may have seen Cary, Olson, and Lynst’s art up in Arts Alive! as they are members of the nonprofit organization.

A portion of the proceeds from the night will be donated toward a new skating rink at Garret Park north of downtown Enumclaw.

“You’re buying a piece from a person you just met, and you have a story,” Pierson said. “It’s the ultimate buying experience, if you want to buy art. It’s intimate.”

The city plans for the park, which is now about 15 years old, to be torn down and replaced with something bigger and better, with elements that appeal to a broader range than just skateboarders, it was previously reported.

The Enumclaw City Council has applied for a King County grant to cover some, if not most of the cost, but it’s unknown if the city will receive the grant, hence the need for other potential revenue streams for the project.

“When I was a kid, I got kicked out of everywhere in this town. You couldn’t skate anywhere,” Pierson recalled, adding that while some people might have been happy when a local skate park was eventually installed, it was the most bare-bones attempt.

But it’s important to have venues like a modern skate park for people to go to, especially for younger adults into the scene, because it helps foster “a positive activity that creates life skills that you can use throughout your life: confidence, it gives you confidence; it teaches you structure, you have to skate with other people, you have to get along and read each other’s lines… kids are too much of this these days,” Pierson continued, miming a teenager hunched over a phone, twiddling his thumbs.

The Freestyle event will be on June 29 from 5 to 9 p.m. at Arts Alive! In addition to the artists, Melvin Brewing — which Pierson does artwork for — will be serving refreshments for attendees 21 years of age and older.


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