Updated Sept. 19, 2022

“Ah, fall in Edmonds, so much to love! I like the cooler days, of course, and the fact that the mornings can be foggy, which make my morning walk kind of quiet and soft. I especially love to walk around the downtown core and look at the wonderful, jewel-toned fall foliage colors of the trees that shelter the streets. The corner of Main and 5th has the most amazing, autumn color show on a beautiful fall day. After a busy and hot summer here in Edmonds, it is really nice to see the city quiet a bit and cool down, too.” —Bev Bowe, master birder, Puget Sound Bird Fest

Fall is a time for quiet contemplation, warm gatherings by a roaring fire, and communing with nature, as the world begins to slow down and rest for a long winter’s nap.

It’s also an exciting, bustling time for Edmonds — Washington’s first Certified Creative District — and its merry artists and artisans, dreamers and visionaries, movers and shakers… getting ready for the festive holiday season to come, all with you in mind, leaving lasting memories and making every moment count.

The 18th annual in-person Puget Sound Bird Fest, Sept. 10-11, opens up worlds within world for bird watchers everywhere. Led by a team of local experts, master birders, environmentalists, and special Sat. morning keynote speaker Martha Jordan, a marine biologist specializing in Washington state’s swans and snow geese, the bird fest features expert presentations and workshops, demonstrations, guided field walks, exhibits, vendors, and activities for the children.

Jordan gives an in-depth keynote address — “Washington’s Swans and Snow Geese: Connections to land use, agriculture, and dairy farms” — to kick off Sat.’s events, 10 a.m., in the Edmonds Plaza Room, 650 Main St. She’ll talk about the effects of changes in farming and land use on wintering waterfowl.

The Bird Fest wouldn’t be the same without master birder Bev Bowe showing everyone around in her charming chatty style. She’ll again lead an informative, humorous field trip through Yost Park, a favorite birding hangout, Sun. morning.

Vote for your favorite bird photos, too, in the "People's Choice" Photo Contest online, adult and junior categories. Winners announced at the end of Bird Fest.

Come see over 250 classic cars and motorcycles at the 21st Edmonds Classic Car Show, Sept. 11, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., up and down 5th & Main St., near the water fountain. Free to the public. Put on by the Edmonds Chamber of Commerce, the Classic Car Show expects between 8,000-10,000 visitors, there to see souped up vehicles vying for awards in 37 categories.

The free, self-guided Edmonds Art Studio Tour (Sept. 17-18, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.) gives the general public a chance to visit local artists in their element, ask about their inspiration and process, and purchase their prized pieces, live and in person. Forty-one artists are set to participate in the annual, two-day, show-and-tell weekend event.

This will be Kalina Wińska’s first, showing in the common spaces of the new Graphite Arts Center, Studio #13, along with Tracy Felix, Andy Eccleshall, Mike O’Day, Sarah Crumb, Johanne Friedrichs, and Julie Perrine. The emerging, Seattle-based Polish artist made her Edmonds debut in her studio at Graphite earlier this year with her topographical poetry, alive in arresting pinks, vibrant yellows, and mysterious midnight-blues and scarlets of simulated thought, breathing fire.

Wińska overlays the picture in her head — of the weather radar images, patterns, topographical maps, and graphic directions (arrows, dashes, curving lines, wherever the wind blows) she’s drawn to — over dynamic, shape-shifting colors that slip intuitively from her hands, in constant flux, moving unpredictably, inexorably toward some beast of burden, in the stillness of canvas and watercolor paper.

She is singular in her mission, yet lithe of spirit, an audacious artist who goes with the flow of her inner imagination, blessed with an unorthodox approach and hunger for deeper meaning that is quite literally out of this world.

Doggedly pursuing chem-trail tendrils and withering Joni Mitchell clouds, or tracking cosmic satellites (“my little space finders”), Wińska seeks to capture a sense of nature’s naked power and fragility, and our man-made assertions over it, applying intricate, graphic techniques on the cusp of animation and science, color blocking, collaging, and unconscious/conscious abstraction.

“Overall my work is… a creative way for me to process the chaotic impacts of climate change and to imagine new forms of landscapes that bring together the natural, virtual, and technological realms. I’ve always wanted to have my art stand for something, to be meaningful,” Wińska explained. “The best thing about that, you know, what keeps me going is just precisely this, that I have no idea sometimes how I arrive at the end… because I never have a specific plan.”

She looks forward to connecting with the community in the upcoming Edmonds Art Studio Tour, and seeing her “little blasts” of chemically artistic movement through their eyes. “I love to see that my work provokes others to come up with some unusual, different ways of talking about art or things outside of art.”

Veteran fashion designer and textile artist Dorothy Skea returns to the Studio Tour (Fashion Images, Studio #23) after a 10-, 12-year absence. “I actually participated in the very first or second and third ones,” noted Skea, who was born in Canton, China and raised in Hong Kong as a tailoring prodigy.

Her wearable art is the result of feel and technique, a rare ease around tailoring and design, and an intuitive sense of color coordination for maximum effect. She’s unafraid of mixing bold specificity in muted tones, and often, with her trademarked high collars that evoke Japanese kimonos and Chinese cheongsams.

“I design and make my own patterns,” Skea said. “I spend a lot of time looking for specific fabrics to make my designs look good. Every piece is one of a kind. The reason my patterns all have multiple seams is because I like to combine textures and patterns together. Most of my customers comment that they would never ever think of putting those combinations together.”

The multiple seams, textures, and patterns combine for comfort, style, and a flattering fit for all sizes. Skea’s custom-made jackets, tunics, scarves, and handbags are always in high demand.

She doesn’t care about the fiber content or whether the fabric is actually meant for clothing. She’ll make it work, transforming and repurposing almost anything into a fashionable, custom-made outfit, piece by piece. Upholstery and home decorating samples her father would source from Japan for manufacturers growing up in Hong Kong, “an old piece of clothing from Egypt” a customer wanted to make her own…almost anything’s game, the sky’s the limit.

“Everything inspires me. I go out on the street and I see some color combination of the garden. I get inspiration from that. If I go to Disneyland, I see the rides, I see all the different shapes and structures like that. Those inspire me, too. So, everything I see, I come up with clothing designs.”

Lynn McManus is on the Edmonds Art Studio Tour Steering Committee and the board of the Edmonds Arts Festival, but she’s also one talented, if not humble, kiln working, glass fusion artist and educator, with her own LHM Glass Design studio (#6).

Inside the studio, McManus fuses, cuts, folds, combs, and fires hues, patterns, and shapes that turn into majestic, immersive centerpieces that often call to mind an underwater oasis, surrounded by coral, sea grass, and sea butterflies.

“Colors, shapes, and patterns have always fascinated me. The patterns I see in fish, tides, fabrics, flowers, clouds, and even birds influence my compositions. My representation of those patterns is found in almost all of my pieces… [website]”

She draws inspiration from frequent travels to Alaska and Hawaii, two divergent points of view that serve her multi-dimensional, crystalline art well.

McManus will try and do some demos during the Studio Tour. But mostly, she’s eager to meet new people, share her passion, and answer whatever questions they have about what she’s doing. 

“We have such a varied group of artists, it’s unbelievable the talent in that group.”

The Edmonds Art Studio Tour is made possible thanks to the generosity of the participating artists and further support from sponsors, Edmonds Arts Festival Foundation, and the Edmonds Arts Commission Tourism Promotion Fund through the City of Edmonds Lodging Tax Fund.

Download studio maps right here.

The 10th annual Scarecrow Festival, presented by the Edmonds Historical Museum, brings the entire community together to submit and delight in the best scarecrows for harvest season. Edmonds residents and business owners are free to submit their most creative, family-friendly entries Sept. 23-Oct. 23, 6 p.m., and the public gets to vote their favorites Oct. 24-Nov. 1. Winners receive their due Nov. 4.

After a two-year break due to the pandemic, the Edmonds Rotary OKTOBERFEST Family Festival is back in full force, Sept. 23-24 (Fri., 4 p.m.-10 p.m., Sat., noon-10 p.m.), at Frances Anderson Field, between 7th and 8th on Main St. Everyone’s welcome, especially the little ones, as there’ll be a designated Kids Korner, 5k Fun Run/Walk and 1k Kids Dash Sat., 10 a.m. and 11 a.m., and the Edmonds College-sponsored, costumed Pet Parade, 11:30 a.m. Of course, there’ll also be a beer garden for the grown-ups, along with tons of food trucks and live music all weekend.

Write on the Sound, Oct. 7-9, remains online this year, with a wealth of knowledge, fellowship, and connections to be had. Highlights of the virtual writers’ conference include 22 presentations by writing and publishing industry professionals, live and recorded, plenary sessions, one-to-one manuscript critique appointments, and a writing contest in fiction, nonfiction, and poetry.

Edmonds Chamber of Commerce's in-person Halloween Trick-or-Treat Night returns (after a two-year pandemic hiatus), Oct. 31, 5 p.m.-7 p.m., in downtown Edmonds. Dress up the entire family, plus your pets, and come have a blast. Local businesses will hand out treats to all the tricksters. Enter the Costume Contest, as well.

Fall in Edmonds...sounds about right.

Ah, Fall…
Of moon beams and mother’s tender lullabies.
For we shall dream in candy-coated,

Faded tissue paper summer seaside sunsets
Sparked by a child’s immortal imagination,

Left by the wayside, forgotten amidst driftwood forts, sand castles, and half-buried Hot Wheels cars
The starfish and Hermit crab lazily crawl over.

Ah, Fall...
With your upside-down, topsy-turvy, amber waves
Of maple, birch, and aspen,

Lining these lopsided streets of gold and silver, 
Past busy, coin-operated tinsel shops, 
Bundled ferry masses heading for eventide, shore and home, 
Storm-lit taverns full of strangers-turned-friends in for a pint and 
A place to hang their troubles,
Their muddled cider conversations lingering in the Honeycrisp, apple-cheeked air.

Ah, Fall...
How we love to walk between the raindrops,
With something warm and wonderful between our furry, gloved hands,
Catching every gleaming, fleeting moment.

Ah, Fall...
How we love you…

More of our interviews with featured Edmonds Art Studio Tour artists Kalina Wińska ("Lost in Kalina Winska's 'Atmospheric Gaze'") and Dorothy Skea/Lynn McManus ("Art Means More Than Painting").

Fall images by Janine Harles

“Trumpeter Swans of Skagit Valley Farmlands” by Janis Howes, winner of the 2022 Puget Sound Bird Fest Poster Art Contest 
"Unaccustomed Land 18," graphite, acrylic paint, ink, gouache on Yupo, Kalina Wińska
Medium-Length Jacket, Dorothy Skea
"Reaching," kiln-worked glass, Lynn McManus