ArtWalla was originally formed in 1992 as the Blue Mountain Arts Alliance, a non-profit organization engaged in facilitating the acquisition of public art and education about that art. ArtWalla’s legacy is visually evidenced by the stunning collection of public art gracing Walla Walla’s historic downtown core. In 2011, leadership of ArtWalla shifted to an all-volunteer board committed to the challenging work of restructuring to serve the broader arts community.
Support and strengthen the Arts as an integral part of daily life, education and economic development in the Walla Walla Valley. ArtWalla envisions an arts culture of excellence with vibrant events, innovative programs and multiple, diverse sources of sustained support. To this end, ArtWalla is dedicated to collaborative participation, aggressive Arts advocacy and dynamic membership services.
President - Patty Gardner
Five years ago, I participated in the first ArtSquared event, which was terrifying for me, but more importantly, amazing to see how this community supports artists and the arts. Because of events like ArtSquared, Dia de los Muertos, The Creative Network, and the strong involvement ArtWalla has in promoting all arts in the valley, my partner Jean and I knew Walla Walla was the place we wanted to live full-time, so we moved here from Seattle two years ago. One of the first things I wanted to do was get involved in this strong art community. I am very proud and excited to be on the board for ArtWalla and honored to work with such a talented group of folks.
Treasurer - Tricia Harding
I moved to Walla Walla over eight years ago and promptly got recruited to join ArtWalla’s board of directors. At that time ArtWalla was focussed on Public Art and I had just left a community where I was chair of the City Commission for Art in Public Places. It was a good fit and a great way to meet the arts community in Walla Walla. Fast forward 8 years and I am still excited to be working with a wonderful group of commitment volunteers that want to see a vibrant arts community in the Walla Walla Valley. I am very proud of all that ArtWalla has accomplished and so love all the creative opportunities in our community. We are all very lucky to have so much available to us in this tiny corner of the state. In my free time I am a mixed media paper artist who loves playing in my studio and collaborating with creative people.
I believe ART to be the expression of humans in a place at a time of change. ART can help bring about the change necessary to retain our dignity, celebrate our cultures, and provide historical touchstones. Art is the influencer, and all artists have the right to bring their vision to the whatever media brings it to the fore; be that on canvas, paper, glass, ceramic, stone, screen, film, or fabric.
When artists work together to bring that about, humanity has the chance to be made better for it. ArtWalla strives to provide that support and chance for artist’s works to be appreciated and enjoyed as part of our shared time and space on this planet.
I believe in ART - FOR ALL - ART BY ALL – ART WITH ALL.
This is the only time we have to make that happen.
After a successful Urban Planning career, practicing in the Cities of Toronto, Portland and Nashville, Brenda Bernards retired to Walla Walla in 2016. She has always been an avid photographer and wanted to explore additional artistic paths. When an opportunity to take Joyce Anderson’s watercolor class opened early in 2017, Brenda stepped into a whole new world of creativity. A second opportunity presented itself with Greg Tate’s drawing class. Initially taking the drawing class to improve her watercolor skills, she discovered the appeal of graphite and charcoal as an artistic medium. Brenda draws inspiration from both the photos taken on her travels and scenes from everyday life.
“One of the best things about Walla Walla is the diversity of art forms on tap for a city its size. I am so pleased to be a part of this creativity. Being a Board Member of ArtWalla allows me to give back to this community that is so welcoming to emerging artists.”
I’ve been a lifelong artist and have been fortunate (almost) always to have found employment that allowed my creative nature to flourish. I lived in Seattle for 30 years before coming back to Walla Walla, my hometown, where I worked in advertising, publishing, graphic design, illustration, and also taught art for many years. I came back to Walla Walla to run the now- defunct Carnegie Art Center. After a “sabbatical” year in Berlin, painting for myself, I taught art for another 7 years at Walla Walla Community College. I have shown my work in solo and group shows around the area.
Being a member of the ArtWalla board affords me yet another opportunity to participate in the cultural life of this community and I look forward to seeing where this will take us.
I was born and raised in Walla Walla, and have loved watching the county grow and flourish over my lifetime. I graduated with a BFA from Walla Walla University in 2014, and have always kept art in my post-grad life, whether it be teaching art classes to elementary school students, making signs and chalkboards for businesses, or hosting my own shows around town. A lot of my work is inspired by nature, especially Alaska, where I commercial fish every summer.
I was introduced to ArtWalla through ArtSquared in 2018, and am excited to be part of the board. I hope to bring energy and new ideas to ArtWalla, and to inspire more people to be involved in our art community.