Windows Alive!

The Yakima Arts Commission, an advisory group appointed by the Yakima City Council, developed an idea to harness the creativity of Central Washington artists to invigorate windows of empty downtown storefronts by displaying their work as part of a project called, "Windows Alive!". "Windows Alive!" is part of an ongoing effort to bring public art in Downtown Yakima. Current window displays are located on Yakima Avenue between the Hotel Maison and Third Street.

Below is a sample of the artwork and statements from the selected artists.

Current Artists for Fall/Winter 2023

Braydon Maier

Braydon Maier

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Braydon Maier

The fact that artworks always seem to have meanings behind them, even when the viewer or artist themselves doesn’t realize it, has always been an interesting concept to me. I have always created works of art with a purpose of utility. I never realized I had any deeper meaning behind my works until recently.

My art is a way for me to escape the overwhelming and complex life that we live in. It's a way for me to escape right where I'm at without having to physically go somewhere. I like to paint scenes from nature as the land and animals are able to live such a simple content life where God is their sole provider.

In my ceramics I like to make utilitarian works because to me they hold more value when the viewer is able to functionally use them. I believe this makes the work more significant and personal. I create simple and somewhat practical objects.

In my woodworking I enjoy the ability to be inventive with my work and the ability to bring conceptual ideas from other mediums to life in a wooden form.

My art is a way for me to allow others to see the way I feel and think without having to use words.

Alice Gardner

Alice Gardner

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Alice Gardner

I love decorating and crafting. I'd use all flowers I had grown and supplies at garage sales. A friend from at work ordered an arch of yellow roses for her bedroom. The room was lacy, Victorian. I looked through magazines for inspiration. I started out with twig arch adding roses of differing size and hue, adding ribbon and filler flowers. Beautiful.

Starting with blank artist's board, I’d gather twigs from the yard, make into a form, use a certain big flower, stone and pendant for design. Then I’d just add to it; shells, flowers, gravel, maybe some lemon grass, a butterfly comes and lands just there - you'll know when your done.

Working with my quilts one can use a pattern or just do your own thing. I like cutting out 5" squares sewing them together , putting 5" border all around, maybe another smaller size border. That's the fun part, now the quilting. Most quilters today have someone who will do the quilting for you, especially if the quilt is large. Another process is taking black fabric, rolling it tightly as in tie-dying. Soak fabric in Clorex then hang to dry. Trials will give you color and designs that are interesting. Also using old rusty nails adds dimension and different colors to your muslin or black fabric.

My studio is a hashing of beads, stacks of material, a bookshelf of dried flowers, sticks and quilts. No one is allowed because of the mess and there’s often no room!

Skylar Stephens

Skylar Stephens

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Skylar Stephens

I find my inspiration in the interplay of light and shadow, the beauty of architecture, the enigmatic allure of liminal spaces, and the captivating essence of nighttime. My photographic journey is a quest to capture the evocative essence of these elements, all while exploring the rich tapestry of history that resides within the Yakima Valley.

Nighttime is my canvas, where the ordinary transforms into the extraordinary. The play of light against the backdrop of darkness brings out an entirely new dimension in my work. I am drawn to long exposures of buildings at night, where the cityscape becomes a mesmerizing symphony of colors and shapes, each structure telling its own story.

The contrast between the stark lines of architecture and the ethereal glow of artificial lighting fascinates me, and I aim to freeze these moments in time, allowing viewers to contemplate the beauty of the nocturnal cityscape.

In portraiture, my fascination with the night extends to capturing individuals bathed in vibrant neon hues. These night portraits become a celebration of both the human form and the urban landscape.

I am equally captivated by the forgotten and abandoned, spaces that have been left to time’s embrace. These places evoke a sense of nostalgia, eeriness, and mystery – the liminal spaces where the past and present intersect in a haunting dance. In these forgotten corners, I aim to capture the whispers of history and the untold stories that linger in the silence, urging viewers to contemplate the impermanence of all things.

Through my work, I invite viewers to see the world through my eyes – a world where architecture, portraits, and liminal spaces converge under the shroud of night, all set against the backdrop of the rich history of the Yakima Valley. My photographs are a visual journey, an invitation to pause and ponder, and a testament to the magic that unfolds when light meets darkness.

Daniel Tennison

Daniel Tennison

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Daniel Tennison

America’s National Parks system houses some of the most breathtaking views that nature has to offer. I love exploring the outdoors and getting the chance to see such massive and unique mountain formations. It’s hard to understand the immense scale of the mountains captured in these photographs and I wanted to depict the uniqueness of the parks through different forms of photography.

These photos depict scenes from three parks – Yosemite National Park, Zion National Park, and Mount Rainier National Park. I aim to take photos that capture the formations as best I can, while also paying attention to the beautiful environments in the surrounding area. While focusing on the larger-than-life formations in Yosemite and Zion, I wanted to take care to capture the unique environment surrounding the base of Mount Rainier.

I'm a native Texan that hasn’t reached his first anniversary in Washington State yet, but on my third day unpacking in Yakima, I took a trip to Rainier. Hiking trails winding through forests, peaks, and waterfalls throughout highlighted how diverse the park is, and each trail provided unique sights.

Be it the gritty deserts in Texas or the thick forests of the Pacific Northwest, each park offers its own take on nature, diversity, and beauty. I plan to visit all the National Parks and intend to continue exploring new ways to capture their beauty through photography to share with the world.

Ellie Gilmore

Ellie Gilmore

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Ellie Gilmore

Art has been an essential means of communication for me, since before I could articulate my thoughts into words. I am a 22-year-old artist who is captivated by the power of self-expression through my hands. I have been creating art in Yakima’s colorful hills for over a decade and recently went to the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where I gained valuable knowledge and skills that continue to inspire me to create diverse and meaningful pieces. I am passionate about using various media, including paint, clay, and others, to convey my emotions, ideas, and experiences through tactile art. I find peace in using my hands to express what I am feeling or thinking, even if others or I don’t understand it. I am drawn to emotionally charged works that can connect with the viewer and spark a shared understanding and appreciation of art.

Daniel Mendoza

Daniel Mendoza

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Daniel Mendoza

Most of my work is inspired by music and/or personal life experiences. My inspiration comes out through mixed media collage. Each piece has a unique story to tell. Most materials used to create the work(s) is mixed media like recycled/repurposed imagery from magazines, books, and photographs, for example. Other materials include washi tape, stickers, glitter, glue/tape, construction, and cardstock paper.

I find myself drawn to color(s) and the ‘clash’ with black & white imagery to draw a deeper perspective from the observer.

About the Project

"Empty windows in unoccupied storefronts send a message that isn't very positive," said Yakima Cheryl Hahn who originally championed the "Windows Alive!" project. "The idea behind 'Windows Alive!' is to fill those storefront windows with beautiful art and create a more engaging and vibrant environment downtown. The project also gives local artists a wonderful opportunity to showcase their work."

Windows Alive Coordinator: Jane Cooper

The next round of artist applications will open in late summer 2024

For more details contact Jane Cooper at yakimawindows@gmail.com


Special thanks to Yakima Valley Tourism for creating and managing this page.