A [R]evolution in Redmond

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VALA Eastside invites Redmond residents to the artists’ reception and other free, public events for “[R]evolution”, a multifaceted art installation featuring five local artists/activists. The five female artists– Rebecca DeVere, Latha Sambamurti, Gwen Maxwell Williams, Eva Moon, and Laura Lee Bennett–have all made strides to advocate for both art and artists.

VALA is honored and grateful to have these women in the Redmond community to guide journeys of artistic discovery for the layperson and for the expert, for the creator of art and for the receiver of art. “[R]evolution began as the Women in Art show—nine times out of ten, it is women artists who come to VALA, find their voices reinvent themselves as artists, and connect to a space that allows them to showcase their work. As the idea for the show evolved, we started to see a common thread woven into their work: They have all been advocates within the Redmond community,” says VALA Co-Founder and Executive Director Jessica Lambert.

“[R]evolution” is curated by Jessica Lambert and Tamar Alsberg with portraits of each artist created by Savvy Dani. The installation runs through January 2016.

Honoring the Revolutionaries in Art in Our Community :: Artists’ Reception
Thursday, December 10th
6pm – 8pm
FREE ($5 suggested donation)
Poets will speak, artists will walk the catwalk! Join us in celebrating 5 women artist revolutionaries that have been activating our local community from Redmond throughout the Puget Sound, with their art and art activism. Appetizers and wine to be served.
RSVP on Facebook 

Friday, January 15th
Art Talk & Wine Night

6pm-8pm
Join Vicki Todd in talking art and the revolutionary in all of us!
RSVP on Facebook 

Saturday, January 16th
Revolutionary Artist to Revolutionary Artist
6pm-8pm
Guest revolutionary artist and academic Vicki Todd, PhD, discusses her process and how we all can capture that revolutionary within!

Friday, January 22nd
Live Performances
6pm-8pm
Poets Laura Lee Bennett, Chi Chi Stewart, and Elizabeth Carroll Hayden will read from I Am Not Cursed, a retelling of the Demeter myth in three voices. Eva Moon will read excerpts from First You Jump – a surreal and darkly comic musical, which premiered in January 2015.

Saturday, January 23rd
NAMASTE India
5:30pm – 7:30pm
Join Revolutionary Artist/Activist Latha Sambamurti in her production of Indian dance and music – this is her second such production at VALA Art Center and Studios! Bringing culture from the other side of the world to ours, Latha’s productions are renowned throughout the state!

For more information, please visit http://www.valaeastside.org/venues/vac.

Winter in Redmond. The time of the year where community and visitors come together to make magical memories in so many ways. I had the pleasure to experience my first Redmond Lights adventure just last year, and let me tell you, it was wonderful. Being a Washington native I have been around the State to experience everything in the Pacific Northwest when it comes to the Holiday Season, but Redmond Lights stood out as one of the most exciting and eventful holiday celebrations I have ever seen.

I began my journey early in the morning pulling into Redmond on a brisk and sunny Saturday. There was this vibe around the town that really got me excited to be there. Maybe it was the quaintly decorated shops, the bustling streets of morning walkers, or more than likely the festive reminders around town that Redmond Lights was finally here. My destination of choice was the Marriott at Redmond Town Center, and I soon realized how fantastic of a choice that was. Sitting amongst the mall, adjacent to the iPic theater I have heard so much about, was the Marriott. I have stayed in hotels all over the country and world and I truly felt this particular Marriott was a step above the standard. The ground level restaurant, Sear, caught my nose as I entered the large lobby fit with huge flat screens and comfy chairs. The massive right wing included an entire business center called “Workspring” where companies can host large gatherings and sessions. They allowed me to actually choose my room from the available options, so i decided the balcony room would suffice. My decision was more than valid as I entered my room to discover how nice it was. At this point I was getting anxious to go exploring, so i drop my bags and head out.

The Mall was full of people getting an early start to avoid any crowd issues as the time approached closer to 5:30 (Tree Lighting time.) The shops all had fabulous deals and the Winter Market was in full force. I decided to take my time and catch a flick at iPic to see what the fuss was all about. WOW. I have never been to such a theater with reclining leather chairs, pillows, and blankets – be careful not to fall asleep when watching your showing of choice. The itinerary called for Tree Lighting at City Hall so I hopped on one of the convenient greyhound shuttles from the Redmond Town Center. Made it in time to check out all the fun crafts in the Senior Center, cookie decorating, bon fires, and bands performing on the City Steps. The air was full of festivities and wonder.

The time came for everything to begin, the tree in the middle of City Hall lit up as the massive crowd counted down. With cameras flashing and music blasting the community had a moment of joy – celebrating with hugs and kisses. It was then time to head down the Redmond Central Connector Luminary Walk back to Redmond Town Center. Along the way were an unbelievable amount of entertainment, activities, and even refreshments! From carolers to fire dancers, to hot air balloons and hot chocolate stations, the trail was hopping! Reaching my destination I was surprised to see a whole new crowd of people headed in my opposite direction to City Hall from the Redmond Town Center, choosing their own experience. The mall was absolutely CRAZY in how festive it was at this point. Everyone was having a blast riding the Holiday Carrousel, making crafts, shopping, skating in the rink, and taking pictures. I found a seat in the center circle and watched the hustle and bustle, what a spectacle!

As the night began to wind down, I decided to try a few of the many restaurants in the mall to grab some delicious drinks and appetizers. Spazzo Italian Grill & Wine Bar was my favorite, with a fantastic happy hour that landed me “Diablo Prawns” with fresh baked bread. I was in heaven. I ended my night in the outdoor hot tub at the Marriott and enjoyed my wonderful room as the crowds funneled out of the mall. What a treat it was to stay while everyone rushed out to avoid the inevitable traffic. I highly recommend doing the same this year! All-in-all what a fantastic experience, I cannot WAIT to experience yet another Redmond Lights adventure this Saturday.