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Friends of the Market Newsletter

March 2015

News on the MarketFront, in no order of importance (because so much is happening on all "fronts"):  Pre-lease agreements are signed for a majority of the MarketFront commercial space...Two lower level wood floors are scheduled for refinishing...Plans are developing to remove Hillclimb Skybridge...Daffodil Day was Friday, March 20, a Market Rite of Spring when volunteers hand-out daffodils...Finally, some big news: MarketFront groundbreaking is coming in early May!
A note about the Market Foundation’s annual Care for the Market luncheon.  Again, the Sheraton Hotel Ballroom was filled with a respectful audience - and food was ample, too. The program was completely about the Market. No ad libbed infommercials or political pitches. Former Governor Christine Gregoire spoke movingly and with knowledge about the Market and her family’s experiences with the Market over the years. Sharon Shaw, a crafts person, spoke about the giving nature of "the village of the Market" and urged all attendees to give generously. It was another successful event. Click here for fundraising results.

Post Alley Passages


Fifty years ago, a group of Seattle artists with origins in Allied Arts and the Quad A Art Association set up their easels in the Market to paint scenes of vendors, shoppers and general Market activity. In two weeks, they had finished enough paintings for an auction held on Flower Row to raise money for the Friends of the Market political action fund to save the Market.

Ellen Anderson a founding member, wrote a short memoir, “How It All Began”, in 2010. She wrote:  After the auction, some of us met with people from the “Friends” group for coffee at Lowell’s restaurant. We discussed sharing space in a vacant stall where Friends had plans to sell postcards and books. The arrangement was for us to work four days, and them to work the remaining two each week (the Market was closed on Sundays). We would be selling each other’s products…Eventually the “Friends of the Market” dropped out of the arrangement and we artists carried on alone.

They took over the shared space, painted the floor, paneled the walls with peg board, borrowed an old desk, bought a cash box, opened a bank account, obtained a business license and became the Art Stall Gallery (ASG) on Economy Row early in 1965. They have been there ever since.

Art Stall Galley's website proclaims the business a “cooperative” because the 14 members are equal and they cooperate very well. In fact, along with Left Bank Books, the Art Stall Gallery is more accurately a “collective”, an organization that is managed without a hierarchy. The ASG management is conducted by monthly meetings of all members. Day-to-day activity and accounting is recorded in a daily running log, which includes some amusing and remarkable encounters with the public over the many years they have been in business.

 The walls of the gallery alcove are covered with current work by ASG artists – water colors, pastels, oil, tempera, and mixed media works, mostly in small sizes. The images depict views of the Pike Place Market, the greater Seattle area, and the larger Pacific Northwest, as well as whimsical interpretations of a variety of Market-related subjects.

The gallery desk supports racks of post cards and note cards close to the shuffling shoppers along the arcade. These are prints of black and white line drawings by the artists and encourage lower priced purchases. The 1977 sketch of the Market Entrance, by Ellen Anderson, is the best-selling postcard and accurately depicts the original water tank on the Leland Hotel roof.

During this semi-centennial year, ASG will continue the show at Vittles Bistro, partly run by their neighbor, Saffron ‘n Spice Indian food purveyor, Cajetan. Vittles is located at 2330 2nd Avenue in Belltown.

An inaugural outreach plan to reach more art patrons begins this year with the Art Stall represented at five satellite Farmers Markets the PDA Farm program hosts. This year, the Pioneer Square and International District (ID) satellite markets will converge at the new King Street Station Plaza off Jackson Street. The other locations remain: City Hall, South Lake Union, First Hill (at Virginia Mason) and the Microsoft Campus. Artists will set up their easels - just as they did in 1964 - and paint while displaying the wide variety of art available in the Market while practicing the Market motto - Meet the Producer.

“We are careful about selecting new members,” says Joan Glenn while talking about the selection process. “We are down one now from our normal 14. All must love the Market because all of one’s senses come alive here and touch the joy of being in the Market.” “The Gallery is a sisterhood where all members share the work.” Over the 50 years in the life of the gallery, there have been 60 members. Applicants come from an active art network in the Greater Seattle area and are juried in.

Joan Reeves, the longest serving Gallery artist at 40 years with the ASG, says that “All work is original and two dimensional, a wonderful array of artistic expression. The only prints are the cards and notes.”

The Gallery considers itself a grandfathered tenant of the Market, it has been in the same location since before the PDA existed.  (Do 14 co-equal members make it a Grandmothered tenant?) Like any business in the Market, ASG also finds the winter months a slow sales time.  It meets its basic rent, but doesn’t bust into paying bonus percentages until the summer.
So, celebrate with the artists at the Art Stall Gallery this year. There is more to take home from the Market to decorate your home than fish, flowers and strings of peppers. Visit these creators and vendors of original fine art on the Economy Row, the historic Art Stall Gallery. It’s open Monday through Saturday from 10 AM to 6 PM and on Sundays May through September, just inside the main entrance of the Market at 1st and Pike, between the newsstand and Pike Place Fish.



Post Alley Passages written by Paul Dunn,

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