The Vision 2023 Burien Art Market Gala started at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday night, Nov. 18, 2023 at the SeaTac Community Center.
This was a familiar event for me, and every year there are differences in the process, and participation from different artists. This is the second fundraiser of the year for Burien Arts Association, and they split the sales with artists 50/50.
Check-in and set up for the event was smooth, and artists were given the choice of location on grids set up within a large room. The edges of this room contained a silent auction, food, wine, and a small area for the music and microphone. There was standing room only most of the night, and many bright eyes darting around between art pieces and each other.
Since the event hosted about official 50 artists, everyone’s friends and family made the event feel full and connected. Friends and family hugging, artists greeting each other from last year, and pointing in every direction at all the variety of artwork. There was a coat check if the proximity to each other became a little toasty. Everyone was polite and calm while waiting for their turn to move past, or to wait their turn at the food and wine line.
The fashion was noteworthy, with hats and fancy shoes, and masks. There were jeweled shoes, high heels, and even some new Star Trek boots, with exquisite points. While it was cold and dark outside, inside was bustling with the conversations of the event. Music floated over the crowd, and I recognized Chet Corpt playing the Kora, which was a pleasant addition to the vibe of the event.
I toured the artwork, drifting between grids. Some artists did repetition of a single design, others did 3D, stepping off the canvas. There were returning artists like Valaria Gonzoles who used a different color palate from the previous year, switching from reds and blacks, to neons and teals mixed with pink. I saw a piece I was going to get right away. Another nearby artist was experimenting, another refining, everyone had a different angle and story. There was the illustrative and colorful work of Dina Skeels, and the sweet and excellent paintings of Audrey Brandt, again showing another year of amazing work! In every direction there was a new artist to the Burien area, or a previous artist bringing a new flavor to the event.
There was another new artist of note, Shannon Kringen; her decorated shoes and matching art pieces were a curated look. I first learned about Shannon Kringen in the 90s, during the days of public access television. Many of her clips and footage are on her Instagram and link tree. I also bought one of her pieces and took a photo with her, which was common with everyone selling their pieces. The personal interaction with the artists was its own reward.
Shannon’s Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/goddesskring/
There were so many good pieces this year, from realism to popular video games references like Astarion from Baldur’s Gate 3. I saw jellyfish and other animals, flowers, and rivers of mixed colors flowing to the delta of the canvas.
At about 7 p.m., the music faded the and mic woke up. Grace from Burien Arts Association described the 3 bells; at the ringing of each bell, anyone could purchase a piece, each bell having a decreasing cost, from $100, to $75, then $40. Then the first bell rang, and a few pieces sold for $100, then 10-15 minutes later the second bell, and the pieces were reduced to 75, then finally at 7:40 p.m. the last bell was rung, and the crown started to flow around the artwork. Another 10 minutes later, some artists were sold out!
There was also a silent auction with a buy-it-now option, featuring good pieces. I particularly liked the mauve and red piece with wandering illustrative lines. Regardless, I bought a few more $40 pieces and proceeded to check out. The whole process from waiting in line to the final check out was less than 10 minutes, and there were friendly conversations while waiting in line.
I left around 8:30 p.m., full of good food, conversation, and a bag of artwork. I estimate 500 people attended the event. I also think this year’s event was a success, and I am looking forward to next year!
Below are photos from the event (click arrows or swipe photos to view slideshow):