Artists were challenged to leave their studios and their concepts of time at the front door last week during a 24-hour art creation marathon downtown Issaquah.
For artist Meg Holgate, who takes months to complete a painting, it was more than a stretch to complete four pieces in one day.
It didn’t help that half that time she was sleep deprived.
But the challenge was well worth the pain she said. “I learned I can work under stress. I enjoyed the camaraderie of fellow artists and the exchange of ideas.”
Fourteen artists, whose focus ranged from sculpture to sewing, spent a day and night working at the UpFront Gallery Feb. 3 to see what would become of the caffeine-fueled experiment.
The exercise also pushed the artists to reconsider their concept of time, said artEAST director Karen Abel. “We are so structured by time.”
The group’s new larger studio and gallery made the event possible for the first time this year.
ArtEAST auctioned off most of the pieces at a fundraiser Saturday, drawing over 200 spectators and raising about $28,000 for the non-profit and artists to split.
“For us that feels like a raging success,” said organizer Deby Harvey, adding that many people discovered artEAST for the first time at the event.
The public was invited to stroll between the various artists as they pounded, prodded and coaxed their various mediums into expression and beauty.
“It was the best of everything art has to offer,” Harvey said.
About halfway through the event, Holgate began running out of energy. Luckily, a live band arrived to reneregize the room.
The next morning a couple mothers brought children before school to watch them work on the last leg.
The most unexpected medium was chocolate. Two bakers, and artists in their own right, worked together to build sculptures, exotic flowers and to fill glass-fused plates with delicate truffles.
Having as much time allowed chocolatier Piper Peterson to practice some things that pushed her technique, she said.
For Holgate, it was more about broadening perspective.
“I knew that I would come away with an altered view on how to approach things,” she said. “I feel a little bit freer.”