Arts and Entertainment

‘Art’ ... ‘Business’ ... ‘Community’

Maria Mackovjack in her element — both at her frame shop and as Old Town Art Walk Chair. - Bill Mickelson/What
Maria Mackovjack in her element — both at her frame shop and as Old Town Art Walk Chair.
— image credit: Bill Mickelson/What's Up

A few words with the new Old Town Silverdale Art Walk chair — Maria Mackovjack of Old Town Custom Framing.

Maria Mackovjack is a self-admitted “art whore.” From her framing studio — Old Town Custom Framing in Old Town Silverdale — she’s an advocate and a resource for the local art community as well as an unabashed and unrelenting promoter of it.

Even if her business didn’t depend on it, chances are Mackovjack would be out on the streets, flagging people down, trying to get them to at least look at the art that’s being made in their community.

“This is a great community that we live in,” Mackovjack said. “You know, I say it all the time and people are like, ‘yeah, whatever, you’re full of crap,’ but this place, the artists that live around here are just phenomenal people. They’re not just talented in the art department, they’re wonderful in how they participate in the community.”

Each month, in addition to running her framing business, Mackovjack features a different local artist in the gallery space of her shop. Her gallery also regularly participates in the Old Town Art Walk — a quarterly fusion of art and business in Old Town Silverdale — which she recently took over as committee chair.

Tonight is her first night at the helm.

“We’re trying to really drum up business for Old Town, and trying to get some venues that have not been involved in the past to open their doors to the art walk and to the artists,” she said. “We know that the gallery community is shrinking ... so it’s becoming more critical for artists to have a place to show.”

As the recession takes its toll on the proverbial arts district, as galleries and studios close down because they can’t pay the rent, the model of the Old Town Art Walk — showcasing local art on the walls of local businesses, like the town florist, the lawyer, the baker or real estate agent — is becoming more compelling.

It’s the epitome of cross promotion, the essence of community. The foot traffic and inherent promotion is good for businesses, while the venue to showcase their work is ample for local artists.

“For most of (the artists), this is a second job,” Mackovjack said, noting registered nurses and real estate agents among other professionals who moonlight as artists at her gallery and on the Old Town Art Walk. “They are part of the community besides being part of the art community. They’re creating art because they love it.”

The Next Old Town Art Walk is from 6-8 p.m. tonight (June 12) at locations throughout Old Town Silverdale. Free. All Ages. For artists and businesses interested in getting involved: go to www.oldtownartwalk.com or e-mail art@oldtownartwalk.com.

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