Downtown Yakima’s easily walk-able city center is alive with wineries, breweries, restaurants and entertainment, but there are also plenty of imaginative art installations on display, designed to enhance our community’s beautiful streetscape. Take a walk on the streets of Downtown Yakima and enjoy the vibrant art in the heart of the city.
- North Yakima Avenue between 3rd and 4th Street –Windows Alive! Public art in Yakima’s Downtown storefronts are filled with works from Central Washington Artists. Work is chosen by the Yakima Arts Commission and changes frequently.
- South 3rd Street, one block south of Yakima Avenue – The Millennium Arts Plaza “Water of Life” was installed in 2003, designed by renowned artist Wen-ti Tsen. This downtown plaza is a dynamic gathering place with a work of public art that engages the past, present and future of the Yakima Valley through the numerous sculptures depicting Yakima life.
- Corner of Yakima Avenue and South 2nd Street – The sculpture “Transcendence” by Bernard Hosey, was the last work of this internationally known artist from Twisp. The Yakima Arts Giving Circle selected the 9 foot diameter sphere, constructed of high-grade painted steel, sealed with a clear epoxy. “Transcendence” was dedicated to Representative Mary Skinner and Doctor Harlow Skinner in honor of their dedication to the Yakima community.
- Corner of 2nd Street and Staff Sgt Pendleton Way – Performance Park Fountain studded with large metal fish.
- Corner of Yakima Avenue and North 1st Street – The Yakima Arts Commission, in partnership with the City of Yakima Public Works Department, “wrapped” selected traffic signal cabinets with designs created by Yakima-area artists. This cabinet design is the work of local artist Stan Hughes, showing abstract images of turtles.
- Historic Front Street, North of Yakima Avenue – “Convolution” was created by sculpture Will Robinson, and is a coil-shaped abstract granite sculpture settled in front of the historic Train Depot building.
ART BEST VIEWED BY NIGHT
- Corner of Yakima Avenue and South 2nd Street – E. Larson building’s entire eleven story east side is bathed in lights of different colors, which change according to holidays, local events and national celebrations.
- Corner of Yakima Avenue and North 2nd Street – “Abundance,” a hand-cast glass, steel, basalt and bronze sculpture by father and son artists, Michael and Chad Gray. The basalt columns symbolize earth, water and sun. The largest column lifts a multicolored glass “Horn of Plenty” which is beautifully lit at night.
- Lincoln Avenue Underpass Train Bridge, west of 1st Street – “Bins of Light,” the 48-foot-wide piece designed by Seattle-based artists Laura Haddad and Tom Drugan is made up of more than 50 glass panels. The panels have images of fruit on the east side, and silhouette-like representations of Yakima Valley fruit labels on the west side. The fruit bin-shaped panels that make up Bins of Light are illuminated by sunlight during the day and by LED lights at night. Lights in the panels turn on and off in a pattern reminiscent of the stacking and unstacking of the fruit bins when the train passes by.
- South on Yakima Avenue between 2nd and 3rd Street – The Yakima Sports Center is favorite local watering hole, and it’s notorious sing has been spinning since 1968. The neon “spinning sportsman,” supposedly a remnant from a 1950’s motel, swivels and shoots neon blasts from his gun.
DOWNTOWN BUSINESSES FEATURING GREAT ART
- Antolin Cellars – Currently featuring the Wine Cork Canvas Art of Colleen Malmassari. When Colleen Malmassari moved to the area she primarily explored the Yakima Valley by visiting winery tasting rooms, both established and new. Many of the corks that came from the bottles were just as captivating as the bottle’s label and wine flavors inside. A collection of corks began. This inspired the creation of a collection of canvases in colors that represent the hues of the Yakima Valley wine industry. These featured corks are laid out in a simple motif, but with a closer look an intentional display that hopefully will start a conversation. Colleen’s art is currently on display in the AntoLin Cellars Tasting Room Gallery in Downtown Yakima through mid-September.
- Gilbert Cellars -The Cellar Gallery showcases their POP-Up Art shows throughout the year that feature rotating local art exhibits by the Larson Gallery.
- Kana Winery – The art of prolific local artist Bill Brennan is on display and for sale. During his youth in the Yakima Valley, Bill Brennen did not have any sense of direction in life. It wasn’t until he enrolled at Yakima Community College and registered for a little bit of everything that he found a love of art. With his teacher’s support, Brennen enrolled at Central Washington University. While attending Central he immersed himself in art. After he graduated, Brennen continued to paint and got his first show at Gasparetti’s Restaurant after his father showed his paintings to Leo Adams. As his popularity grew his style changed, instead of figural paintings he started to paint landscapes and more natural scenes. His artwork is present in numerous permanent collections statewide and he is still creating, with over 1,000 pieces under his belt.
- Essencia Artisan Bakery –Their frequently changing art displays make for a great view while enjoying their delicious baked goods. Their breads and desserts are a work of art, too!
- Hotel Maison – This boutique downtown hotel works in cooperation with The Larson Galleryto showcase a variety of local artists on a seasonal basis.
BE THE ARTIST!
- Here is your chance to bring home a piece of art that YOU have created! Downtown Yakima businesses offer a chance to make your own art following directions of a skilled artist. Come sip wine while you create at any of these locations for the next class: Antolin Cellars,Kana Winery, Fairbridge Inn and Suites, or check the calendars from Paint Nite and Corks and Canvas, which provide the instruction.
DON’T MISS THE LATEST ADDITION!
- In addition to the numerous permanent installations, be sure not to miss the temporary large-scale, community-sourced photography installation called, “Inside Out: Love Where You Live.” Located on the side of the building on North 3rd Street and Yakima Avenue, the ribbon cutting will be September 12 at 6:00 pm. Nearly 200 Yakima residents volunteered to have their portrait taken and share a personal statement about why they love living in Yakima.