Schack, 1, transforming arts community
EVERETT - The Schack Art Center is celebrating its one-year anniversary Sunday, May 6.
It took years of work to get the Schack open, and it is becoming a recognized hub for the arts in Everett. Some credit the Schack with helping change downtown’s image.
Michelle Denton hears the “oohs” and “aahs” from her seat at the front desk counter of the art center.
“Most of them are shocked to see Everett has something of this caliber,” Denton said.
People are excited when they walk in the door, and “they’re really happy Everett is becoming an artsy community. I’ve heard that a lot,” Denton said.
The Schack Art Center was more than five years in the making by the Arts Council of Snohomish County. It was built with donations, and most of the donations came from the local community, board member Ritch Sorgen told this paper last year.
A year later, Sorgen is happy to see the Schack flourish.
“I think it’s amazing on what it’s done,” Sorgen said.
He said he hears it all the time from visitors: “I never knew Everett had this.”
The center is unique to the region and attracts people from Western Washington and Canada, Schack spokeswoman Maren Oates said.
More than 33,300 people walked through the Schack in the past 12 months, Oates said.
The center offers workshops, glassblowing and, of course, features local art. People are surprised by the quality of the local artists, Denton said.
“Our place is pretty interactive,” Sorgen said. “It’s not just a gallery, it’s a place people can come and do art.” The glassblowing hot shop, visible from the street, mesmerizes some people, Sorgen said.
The center has tripled the number of art classes offered since opening last year. The classes have attracted people as far away as Canada, Oates said.
The Schack is free to enter, which surprises people, as well, Denton said.
“We get to see the joy of the faces of people walking in for the first time,” Oates said.
The Schack is part of downtown’s slow recovery, Sorgen said.
“It’s a big change,” Sorgen said. “It starts creating a community that reaches more people.”
Downtown never had anything like this before, Historic Everett Theatre assistant technical manager Derick Eldridge said.
“Before, when you went downtown there would be one or two things out there. Now downtown has stuff on the pavement, all sorts of new structures,” Eldridge said, adding, “It doesn’t seem like there was much before the Schack.”
Above the Schack Art Center is the Artspace Everett Lofts, which opened a year ago and is where Eldridge lives. The art lofts have a good group of artists and Everett is turning into a stronger art community, Eldridge said.
He points to the Everett Art Walk, which is on the third Saturday of the month, and streetscape amenities added on Hoyt as part of the additions.
“It’s nice to see it grow,” Eldridge said.
Schack will celebrate its one-year anniversary Sunday, May 6 from noon to 5 p.m. with cupcakes, hands-on activities for the whole family, and the potential to enter a raffle to win a free one-year Schack membership. There also will be workshops to make glass flowers for Mother’s Day from noon to 3 p.m. for $40 and fused glass jewelry from 2 to 5 p.m. for $45. Register in advance for the workshops online at www.schack.org.
The Schack Art Center is located at 2921 Hoyt Ave.
By MICHAEL WHITNEY
Published May 2, 2012