Listen up, grown-ups
You might think otherwise, but story time is not just for kids. That’s particularly true when the person telling the stories is Elizabeth Lord, who has shared with audiences such tales as how she got her first bra and what it was like to grow up in Las Vegas, where slot machines are found in grocery stores. Lord will present an adult story hour at 7 p.m. Friday at The Bandha Room, 119 Capitol Way N., and she’s promising to do an improv story. She’ll take audience suggestions for a main character and three things that happen to that character and craft a story. (And she points out that since it’s adult story time, there are lots of interesting options for those plot points.) Lord also plans to read from some romance novels, a genre not typically featured at readings.
Never miss a local story.
The Eagles Hall is a little bit of a walk from the area where most Arts Walk locations are clustered, and perhaps that’s part of the reason the Eagles typically make a huge deal out of the event: They really want to lure you to their nest at 805 Fourth Ave. E. This year, Arts Walk festivities at the Eagles wrap up with a big dance party featuring the Psychedelic Shadow Show, which plays the music of Janis Joplin, Jefferson Airplane, Buffalo Springfield, the Rolling Stones and other ’60s and ’70s rock groups. As part of the festivities at the free party, the Eagles will be selling tickets to a raffle with prizes donated by downtown businesses.
Different point of view
Nathan Barnes is probably best known hereabouts as the coordinator of the gallery at South Puget Sound Community College’s Kenneth J. Minnaert Center for the Arts. (He also is married to Jill Barnes, executive director of The Washington Center for the Performing Arts.) What few people might not know is Barnes is an artist who’s had many solo exhibitions, including one last year at Pierce College’s Fort Steilacoom campus. His work is unexpected — even if you didn’t know what to expect. His first solo Arts Walk show, “Strangely Familial,” is a series of portraits that blend realistic detail with plenty of surrealism. A tongue hangs from the corner of one painting. These don’t really look like anyone living in this space-time continuum, but they are portraits of the artist’s family and friends. “Strangely Familial” can be seen through May 24 at Salon Refu, 114 Capitol Way N.
Art in three dimensions
Simon Calcavecchia, whose Komodo dragon rolled through the streets of Olympia during last year’s Procession of the Species, continues to find creative ways to express himself through art. Doing so is complicated for Calcavecchia, who has neither feeling nor mobility below his chest since he broke his neck in a rugby accident in 2002. But with big ideas and friends who offer — quite literally — helping hands, he is continuing to make his mark on the art scene. He’ll be showing three large-scale plywood and acrylic creations, including a 12-foot-wide cuckoo bird, at the Hands On Children’s Museum, 414 Jefferson St. NE. The museum will offer free admission from 5-9 p.m. Friday (April 24) and free tours (with regular admission) Saturday. Adults are normally allowed in the museum only in the company of children, but during Arts Walk, any adult may come along on the tours of the museum’s art collection.
Chris Maynard, who makes shadowboxes using intricately cut feathers, has become one of Olympia’s most famous artists — and he’s arguably the most famous one participating in the 50th Arts Walk. These days, Maynard has quit his part-time job at the state Department of Ecology to focus on art. He’s making bigger and more complicated pieces, most of which are sold through galleries. Though he’s hit the big time, Maynard loves Arts Walk and Procession of the Species and is already promising he’ll show again next spring. (He’s not sure about fall because he’ll be preparing for a solo show in Miami.) For Arts Walk, you can see his feathered creations at Capitol Florist, 515 Capitol Way S.; Childhood’s End Gallery, 222 Fourth Ave. W.; and Thomas Architecture Studio, 109 Capitol Way N.
Super comic artist
No, that’s not hyperbole. Comic artist Gary Martin has drawn such superheroes as Batman, The Hulk and Spider-Man, as well as Mickey Mouse and many other famous characters. Martin, who has worked for all of the major comic-book publishers, will be showing how he does it at “The Magic of Ink Art with Gary Martin” from 1-3 p.m. Saturday at the Olympia Timberland Regional Library, 313 Eighth Ave. SE. The event, co-sponsored by Danger Room Comics, is just part of the fun at the library, which also will have its popular Peeps dioramas on display. For details, call 360-352-0595.
Get out and move
Zumba, the Latin-dance inspired workout, heats up come summer with Zumba in the Park. A group of Olympia and Lacey Zumba teachers volunteer to put on the free events, which happen every weekend June through September. The group, which has been taking dance off the dance floor since 2011, will kick off the fitness and fun at Arts Walk with a demo and dance from 8-9:30 p.m. Friday in front of Olympia City Hall, 601 Fourth Ave. E. For details on Zumba in the Park events, go to facebook.com/ZumbaintheparkOlympiaLacey.
Don’t save them for a rainy day
Those who’ve spent much time in Olympia know that umbrellas are not a common sight. When it rains this much — and is so often just a fine, misty drizzle — who has time to worry about it, right? So the artists at Splash Gallery came up with another use for umbrellas — they’ve painted 13 of them and are auctioning them off with proceeds to benefit the art program at Nova School, a private middle school. (The painted umbrellas are for decorative use only.) The silent auction ends at 9 p.m. Friday. The gallery, on the boardwalk at 501 Columbia St. NW, also will host art demonstrations Saturday, weather permitting. (Hey, maybe they could have used those umbrellas after all.)
The nose that grows
Olympia Family Theater will have something fun for the young ones with a sneak peek at “Pinocchio,” opening May 15. This version of “Pinocchio” is a play within a play, set in an unfinished theater space. The workers, realizing that an audience has arrived, begin to tell the story, using whatever is on hand. The adaptation by Greg Banks is more faithful to Carlo Collodi’s novel than the familiar Disney version. Check out the production at 6, 7 and 8 p.m. Friday at the theater, 612 Fourth Ave. E.