Windows Alive!

The Yakima Arts Commission, an advisory group appointed by the Yakima City Council, developed an idea to harness the creativity of Central Washington artists to invigorate windows of empty downtown storefronts by displaying their work as part of a project called, "Windows Alive!". "Windows Alive!" is part of an ongoing effort to bring public art in Downtown Yakima. Current window displays are located on Yakima Avenue between the Hotel Maison and Third Street.

Below is a sample of the artwork and statements from the five selected artists.

Current Artists for Fall/Winter 2022

Jarda Kelley

Jarda Kelley

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Jarda Kelley

I am a local artist living in Moxee. While I do have a full time job, I also have a side line as an art instructor for my traveling paint night called Golden Lasso Art (like Wonder Woman). When I’m not painting examples for classes I really enjoy doing freelance commission painting and illustration. I especially like commissioned work as the range of subjects and themes can be so diverse. I really enjoy illustration as. It’s so fun to design and bring to life a character which has led to me writing, illustrating and publishing my own children’s books.

When I started thinking about submitting a collection for the Windows Alive project I really wanted to give it some local flavor. I work predominantly in acrylic paint and am drawn to the bright colors. The bouquets I painted while thinking of “Yakima’s Bounty” so you’ll see along with the bright flowers Yakima native crops like apples, cherries, grapes, and hops.

Kiera Mehl

Kiera Mehl

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Kiera Mehl

I am a 13-year-old artist named Kiera and each one of these original characters (OCs) I created. They are unique, majority of the time they were made during times of boredom. I wanted to create these pieces of art to feel engaged and cure my boredom. They all have different personalities, life experiences and come from different planets. All my digital art is made using Ibis Paint X on my Ipad, I also enjoy drawing with pen/pencil and paper, and painting with acrylics.

Flitz and his older brother Xen, which are painted with acrylic are first on the list, their planet has pink rocks and a purple sand. Xen had just returned from hunting and Flitz really missed him. So, Xen offered to give him a piggyback ride. Next, is an acrylic painting of special bubbles that contain people in them that have little houses, like capsules. Their earth got so polluted that they could not live there anymore. So, with the little time they had they packed their things and left the planet. The paper mask came from an older OC, they used to wear it to look scarier, but instead people liked the mask and said he looked cool and now he has friends.

The black & white digital drawing is Conner, not much to say about him except he is nice despite his scary appearance. Cye the crying cyclops, the alien CopyCats, Happy in spring, V, and Alexian are all characters with lives and worlds that I invite people to explore through each piece of art I create.

Makenzy Mehl

Makenzy Mehl

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Makenzy Mehl

Each of the original characters (OCs) I created have a different story and sight for the world that they live in. In addition to drawing, I also like to take photos of the beautiful nature around me and sometimes that is what inspires me to make some of the characters I have created. I like to take pictures of the nature around me because it is sometimes mysterious or beautiful and I may never see anything like it again. I like to draw because it takes me to a warm, comfortable place that can make me feel safe and free also because I can make whatever types of people or creatures I like, they can be big, tiny, thin, wide, tall, short, cute, scary, or a mixture of whatever I like. I like to make my art on ibis paint x on my iPad or with pencil and paper (the only time I normally do not color my drawings).

This exhibition of mixed media is inspired by nature captured in photography and digital art. To begin with the art piece named Liz was made after my mom’s favorite fruits to look at, lemons and limes and is practically based on my mom. Liz is a kind-hearted helpful person who likes to donate to charity’s and builds shelters. In her free time, she will grow lemons and limes or spend time with her kids. Liz is a single Mother with 5 kids and a great colleague named Ethan who likes to help with growing the fruits and vegetables they sell.

Next is Alexeon who goes by the nickname Al most of the time and Winston they grew up together on a planet call Ranempousa where the clouds are blue, the sky is a sea green, and the ocean is a beautiful softly colored purple people normally go there for vacations. Alexeon is a hybrid who liked to explore and grew up in a small-town next door to Winston who is a mystical creature called a meople (meeple) that prefer to live by themselves or with one other person. Next is Lucy and Olin. They sadly did not grow up together since Olin originally lived on Ranempousa and Lucy is just a visitor from another planet. Olin helps Lucy with learning how to communicate and how to get around the place. Lucy has bad eyesight and cannot see colors correctly, which are used to tell them where they are and where to go. Lucy likes to read and eat apples those are her favorite fruit and helps Olin grow them.

Pamela Edwards

Pamela Edwards

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Pamela Edwards

Pamela Edwards is a self-taught artist who explores folk art and abstract expressionism in oil pastels and acrylics. Recently retired, she finds her passion for painting all consuming. Pamela and her husband, Stephen Stokesberry, also an artist, were drawn to the Yakima Valley by the blue, blue skies and the almost daily appearance of the sun. They found a little red farmhouse on this side of the mountains in need of love and made the move from Seattle.

Settling into Central Washington, surrounded by mountains, canyons and rivers, gives Pamela ample inspiration to paint everyday. Of her desire to put paint to canvas, she says, “I don’t want to paint, I HAVE to paint!”

Her work has been included in shows at the Larson Gallery of Yakima Valley College, Boxx Gallery, and Tieton Arts and Humanities exhbit in Mighty Tieton Warehouse, both in Tieton Wa.

Sheryl Pickering

Sheryl Pickering

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Sheryl Pickering

As an amateur photographer I enjoy, and am inspired by taking pictures of the landscapes, and wildlife of the Yakima Valley. I am grateful to capture some of the visual beauty of our area, but painting is a way for me to explore the unseen magic of those experiences. Using a combination of colors on a blank canvas to create the remnants of the sights, sounds, scents, and the emotions felt while being surrounded by nature.

To be lost in the magical natural world allows each of us to be free from the constraints of the mind, and to create art allows me to become immersed in that moment of adventure, and creativity where all else fades away.

Susan Hahn

Susan Hahn

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Susan Hahn

I have lived in the Yakima Valley since 1982 when my husband and I moved here from San Francisco where we attended law school. I practiced law for six years and then in 1988 was appointed as a Court Commissioner and later as a Superior Court Judge. I served in that position for 29 years before my retirement.

Although I began painting in college, studies, living abroad, my career and raising two boys left me with little time to paint. Since my retirement six years ago, I have painted nearly every day and enjoy it very much. I maintain studios in Yakima and Mazama, WA which is located just miles from the crest of the North Cascades Highway. I have been privileged to show my work in various offices, restaurants, the BOXX Gallery, the Seasons, Gilbert Cellars, the Larson Gallery and Allied Arts in the Tri-Cities. I paint primarily with oil on canvas and frequently employ a palette knife for the texture it provides. I also paint with alcohol inks, acrylics and mixed media.

Tanya Perez

Tanya Perez

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Tanya Perez

The theme of my earrings is art with my hands. In each work I like to show the detail and bring out the color, even if it takes me a long time. I express my emotions and feelings through my hands on each art piece I make.

The materials I use are polymer clay, nickel free rings to anchor the earrings, glue, acrylic paint is some of my creations, clay cutters and an oven to bake the clay.

About the Project

"Empty windows in unoccupied storefronts send a message that isn't very positive," said Yakima Cheryl Hahn who originally championed the "Windows Alive!" project. "The idea behind 'Windows Alive!' is to fill those storefront windows with beautiful art and create a more engaging and vibrant environment downtown. The project also gives local artists a wonderful opportunity to showcase their work."

Windows Alive Coordinator: Jane Cooper

The next round of artist applications will open in early spring 2023

For more details contact Jane Cooper at yakimawindows@gmail.com


Special thanks to Yakima Valley Tourism for creating and managing this page.