A [R]evolution in Redmond

VALA Eastside invites Redmond residents to the artists’ reception and other free, public events for “[R]evolution”, a multifaceted art installation featuring five local artists/activists. The five female artists– Rebecca DeVere, Latha Sambamurti, Gwen Maxwell Williams, Eva Moon, and Laura Lee Bennett–have all made strides to advocate for both art and artists.

VALA is honored and grateful to have these women in the Redmond community to guide journeys of artistic discovery for the layperson and for the expert, for the creator of art and for the receiver of art. “[R]evolution began as the Women in Art show—nine times out of ten, it is women artists who come to VALA, find their voices reinvent themselves as artists, and connect to a space that allows them to showcase their work. As the idea for the show evolved, we started to see a common thread woven into their work: They have all been advocates within the Redmond community,” says VALA Co-Founder and Executive Director Jessica Lambert.

“[R]evolution” is curated by Jessica Lambert and Tamar Alsberg with portraits of each artist created by Savvy Dani. The installation runs through January 2016.

Honoring the Revolutionaries in Art in Our Community :: Artists’ Reception
Thursday, December 10th
6pm – 8pm
FREE ($5 suggested donation)
Poets will speak, artists will walk the catwalk! Join us in celebrating 5 women artist revolutionaries that have been activating our local community from Redmond throughout the Puget Sound, with their art and art activism. Appetizers and wine to be served.
RSVP on Facebook 

Friday, January 15th
Art Talk & Wine Night

Join Vicki Todd in talking art and the revolutionary in all of us!
RSVP on Facebook 

Saturday, January 16th
Revolutionary Artist to Revolutionary Artist
Guest revolutionary artist and academic Vicki Todd, PhD, discusses her process and how we all can capture that revolutionary within!

Friday, January 22nd
Live Performances
Poets Laura Lee Bennett, Chi Chi Stewart, and Elizabeth Carroll Hayden will read from I Am Not Cursed, a retelling of the Demeter myth in three voices. Eva Moon will read excerpts from First You Jump - a surreal and darkly comic musical, which premiered in January 2015. 

Saturday, January 23rd
5:30pm – 7:30pm
Join Revolutionary Artist/Activist Latha Sambamurti in her production of Indian dance and music – this is her second such production at VALA Art Center and Studios! Bringing culture from the other side of the world to ours, Latha’s productions are renowned throughout the state! 

For more information, please visit http://www.valaeastside.org/venues/vac.

My Redmond Lights Experience

Awe, winter in Redmond. The time of the year where community and visitors come together to make magical memories in so many ways. I had the pleasure to experience my first Redmond Lights adventure just last year, and let me tell you, it was wonderful. Being a Washington native I have been around the State to experience everything in the Pacific Northwest when it comes to the Holiday Season, but Redmond Lights stood out as one of the most exciting and eventful holiday celebrations I have ever seen.

I began my journey early in the morning pulling into Redmond on a brisk and sunny Saturday. There was this vibe around the town that really got me excited to be there. Maybe it was the quaintly decorated shops, the bustling streets of morning walkers, or more than likely the festive reminders around town that Redmond Lights was finally here. My destination of choice was the Marriott at Redmond Town Center, and I soon realized how fantastic of a choice that was. Sitting amongst the mall, adjacent to the iPic theater I have heard so much about, was the Marriott. I have stayed in hotels all over the country and world and I truly felt this particular Marriott was a step above the standard. The ground level restaurant, Sear, caught my nose as I entered the large lobby fit with huge flat screens and comfy chairs. The massive right wing included an entire business center called “Workspring” where companies can host large gatherings and sessions. They allowed me to actually choose my room from the available options, so i decided the balcony room would suffice. My decision was more than valid as I entered my room to discover how nice it was. At this point I was getting anxious to go exploring, so i drop my bags and head out.

The Mall was full of people getting an early start to avoid any crowd issues as the time approached closer to 5:30 (Tree Lighting time.) The shops all had fabulous deals and the Winter Market was in full force. I decided to take my time and catch a flick at iPic to see what the fuss was all about. WOW. I have never been to such a theater with reclining leather chairs, pillows, and blankets – be careful not to fall asleep when watching your showing of choice. The itinerary called for Tree Lighting at City Hall so I hopped on one of the convenient greyhound shuttles from the Redmond Town Center. Made it in time to check out all the fun crafts in the Senior Center, cookie decorating, bon fires, and bands performing on the City Steps. The air was full of festivities and wonder.

The time came for everything to begin, the tree in the middle of City Hall lit up as the massive crowd counted down. With cameras flashing and music blasting the community had a moment of joy – celebrating with hugs and kisses. It was then time to head down the Redmond Central Connector Luminary Walk back to Redmond Town Center. Along the way were an unbelievable amount of entertainment, activities, and even refreshments! From carolers to fire dancers, to hot air balloons and hot chocolate stations, the trail was hopping! Reaching my destination I was surprised to see a whole new crowd of people headed in my opposite direction to City Hall from the Redmond Town Center, choosing their own experience. The mall was absolutely CRAZY in how festive it was at this point. Everyone was having a blast riding the Holiday Carrousel, making crafts, shopping, skating in the rink, and taking pictures. I found a seat in the center circle and watched the hustle and bustle, what a spectacle!

As the night began to wind down, I decided to try a few of the many restaurants in the mall to grab some delicious drinks and appetizers. Spazzo Italian Grill & Wine Bar was my favorite, with a fantastic happy hour that landed me “Diablo Prawns” with fresh baked bread. I was in heaven. I ended my night in the outdoor hot tub at the Marriott and enjoyed my wonderful room as the crowds funneled out of the mall. What a treat it was to stay while everyone rushed out to avoid the inevitable traffic. I highly recommend doing the same this year! All-in-all what a fantastic experience, I cannot WAIT to experience yet another Redmond Lights adventure this Saturday.

Maura Donegan to Stitch Her Way Through VALA Art Center and Studios

VALA Eastside is pleased to announce that for September and October 2015 Maura Donegan will be VALA’s Artist in Residence.  As a textile artist, Maura’s work combines cloth making, embroidery and poetry to express a sense of innocence, joy and beauty.  “We’re grateful for the generous grant provided by the Redmond Arts Commission to allow VALA Eastside to bring talented, local artists to the art center and to allow the community to witness the artist’s process of creating an installation from start to finish,” says Jessica Lambert, Founder and Executive Director of VALA Eastside.

VALA Eastside encourages the community to visit Maura at the VALA Art Center, learn about her process and help make art that will be incorporated into a larger public art “cloud”, entitled “Silver Linings”, that will be installed during the month of October.


Superhero Block Party ::
Saturday, September 19th 12pm-5pm
Bring your child and make art in the VALA booth at Redmond Town Center’s festival for families.

Textile Art Making Workshops with Maura Donegan
VALA Artist In Residence Maura Donegan invites the public to join her in a series of hands on workshops exploring the concepts of joy and beauty through mark making and stitching. Participants will write, draw, stitch, print, color or embellish in any way that helps them express their experience and have the opportunity to hang their created works in a “cloud” installation at the VALA Art Center. No experience necessary. Attend as many workshops as you wish. Each workshop is free to the public ($5 donation is suggested to support VALA Eastside.)

Workshop No. 1 :: Thursday, September 24th  7-9pm
Workshop No. 2 :: Thursday, October 1st  7-9pm
Workshop No. 3 :: Thursday, October 8th  7-9pm 

VALA Art Center
Redmond Town Center
7330 164th Ave NE  (Next to Z Gallerie)
Open Wednesday-Sunday 11am-5pm

For more information about the artist, please visit www.mauradonegan.com.

Marymoor Concerts Never Disappoint!

Marymoor concert are back to Redmond and better than ever. This year you have a chance to see a huge variety os music legends, billboard favorites, and up and coming artists that you are sure to fall in love with. Bands like The Decemberists, Needtobreate, Third Eye Blind, Slightly Stoopid, Alabama Shakes, Cheap Trick and many more! You will not want to miss out on these amazing opportunities that are practically in your back yard!

Of Monsters and Men

Icelandic band, Of Monsters and Men, will be preforming in Redmond August 9th. The band that caught everyone’s attention with their song “Little Talks” in 2011 is going grace Redmond with their presence. The charming band has been working on a new album “Beneath The Skin” for the past two years; it is now available on the shelves! Don’t let their age fool you, this band has already sold over 2 million albums worldwide. See the quadruple-platinum band for yourself, and buy your tickets now.

Walk The Moon

The ever playful and fun music of Walk The Moon is going to be at Marymoor with milky Chance. The band’s bassist Kevin ray says, “We want our music to be the most fun thing you’ve ever listened to in your entire life,” And he is right. Their music can always put you in a good mood and make you want to dance. Come be apart of the energetic experience that Walk The Moon has to offer on August 10th.

Barenaked Ladies

I personally am looking forward to seeing the band Barenaked Ladies on their Last Summer on Earth 2015 tour! This very busy world-renowned band has been working on new material and will release a new album soon. The Barenaked Ladies have sold over 14 million albums worldwide and their live shows have grown to be legendary with their impromptu raps and sidesplitting on-stage banter. They will be with Violent Femmes, Colin Hay of Men at Work on Sunday, July 26 at Marymoor Parks.  A special perk is that each Last Summer On Earth ticket purchase will come with free digital download of their new album that is to be released later this summer. Be sure to get your tickets now for the July 26 show!

Come Join the Celebration!

It’s Derby Days’ 75th birthday! Come celebrate with us as this weekend as we continue one of Redmond’s most cherished events, July 10-11th. This year is bigger than ever with tons of activities for the entire family!

Community Races & Contests

Following the Grand Parade there will be a series of 75 yard races for everyone who wants to join the fun. Have your friends, family and colleagues sign up to be apart of these wacky races and to build the Redmond community spirit! Weather you enjoy dressing up or riding tricycles there is a race for you to enjoy!


Everyone is invited to be apart of the tradition and deck out your wheels with the entire community! The FREE Ben Franklin Kid’s Parade starts at 10am, every child who participates and wears a helmet will receive a prize of two silver dollar coins courtesy of Clark, Raymond and Company. Show off your creativity for the 0.6 mile parade route to start the festivities for the day! After the Kid’s Parade is finished grab your family and friends and take a seat to be entertained by this year’s spectacular Grand Parade!


Competitive athlete? Try partaking in the Criterium. The Criterium is the main event of Derby Days and the most competitive. This multi-lap race is usually just under a mile and is a test of a riders speed and bike handling abilities. Come test your skills and enter a chance to win cash prizes or merchandise! Register now!


This is a birthday party after all, right? So lets party! There will be a collection of carnival rides, free games, and music all day long. To add to the fun there will be a free outdoor movie Friday night. Take part in the Taste of Redmond in addition to traditional fair food after you check out The Craft Brewers of Redmond Beer Garden! As a perfect ending for anything, the festivities will conclude with a firework show sponsored by R-trip. The carnival will be open Friday 4-11pm and Saturday 10am-11pm.

Fire Department Pancake Breakfast

Start you day off with enjoying a meal with the community Saturday, July 11, 8am-noon. The breakfast consists of pancakes, sausage, eggs, coffee and orange juice. After the children eat they can tour the fire trucks and put out a fake fire! The kids can also try on actual firefighter gear!

Derby Dash 5K

Compete with fellow racers on a fast, flat, USATF certified location. You can choose to walk or jog the race and participants of all ages are welcome, so sign up your family! Register soon because the event is going to be capped at 1,000 participants.

New! Street Scramble

Street Scramble is an urban adventure hosted by the Redmond Parks & Trails Commission where you can explore the city in an exciting hunt to find all of the checkpoints. You choose how you want to partake in the adventure, there are a variety of categories to enter. The teams who collect the most points will be awarded prizes!


Visit the Derby Days Website for more information on 75th Annual Derby Days!

Slow Art Day

Saturday, April 11th
1:00pm – 3:00pm

VALA Art Center & Studios
16409 NE 74th Street, Redmond, WA

Take a day to slow down and enjoy the art.

Join us at the VALA Art Center on Saturday, April 11, 2015 from 1pm – 3pm and be a part of the international art appreciation event “Slow Art Day”. At this event we’ll take an in depth look at the works part of our current installation – Springtime Juried Show.

More information about international Slow Art Day can be found at http://www.slowartday.com/

RSVP on Facebook

Redmond Artist in Residence: Lucia Neare’s Theatrical Wonders

Redmond’s Artist in Residence, Lucia Neare, has a complete season of public theatrical works planned for the Redmond community called the Season of Wonders! ”Lucia Neare is a 21st century pioneer of theater in public spaces. A creative force in the Northwest and advocate for cultural vibrancy and egalitarian accessibility, Neare’s large-scale site-specific theatrical works ignite civic imagination, drawing tens of thousands into multi-sensory dreamworlds.”

Lucia Neare’s upcoming show Recipe for Love takes place at four o’clock on May 3, 2014 at Redmond’s City Hall Campus. Neare aims to inspire “generations of creative, spirited thinkers” with her dream-scape performances that will be sure to touch an audience of all ages. Neare’s performances include upwards of hundreds of performers, giant set pieces, larger-than-life costumes, and live orchestra and dance.

In order to make these performances possible, Lucia and her team of artists need your help! The company offers all sorts of volunteer opportunities from gold leaf painters, sculptors/makers/builders and organizers to assistant stage managers.

Get Involved:
- Visit the complete listing of volunteer opportunities.
- Explore lucianeare.org to find out more about Lucia Neare’s Theatrical Wonders.
- Like the company on Facebook.
- Find the complete performance listing for Season of Love at Redmond.gov.


Od•ys•sey (noun) — A long series of wanderings or adventures, especially when filled with notable experiences.

I recently had an opportunity to experience “Odysseo,” the latest Cavalia horse show, now visiting Redmond’s Marymoor Park. What a treat for the senses!

Even before you enter, you are struck by the sheer size of the tent (the largest of its kind in the world), aware that you are about to witness something spectacular. Open the doors and you are welcomed by beautiful scenes from the show, and merchandise to get you excited as you make your way to your seats.

There isn’t a bad seat in the house. And, from halfway up the rows, I felt like I had a great view of both the high and low visual lines of the production.

The lights went down and I was taken on a ride through time and space, transported to a distant land or an earlier time, as a ballet between horses and performers played out in front of the crowd. I will leave the surprises for you to experience, but I will say that every scene was something new and exciting, and — many times — took my breath away.

There are acrobats, dancers, musicians and riders who use every opportunity to thrill their rapt audience with their beauty and strength. The acrobats do things that I didn’t think the human body could do, pushing their bodies to the extreme; dancing their hearts out and appearing to love every minute of it. The catapulting stilts that some of the dancers use will have you researching how you can get a pair for yourself. But, the most exciting performance comes from the horses. I cannot describe the emotional effect of seeing such majestic creatures acting in total concert with their gentle riders and one another. It will dazzle you and sometimes bring tears of happiness and wonder.

As I watched I got so taken in by the bond of animal and human that it brought tears to my eyes and gave me goose bumps. Not only do we see these animals as majestic, they are given the utmost respect by their handlers. You can see the personalities of these horses as they run around the landscape. They communicate with each other by looks and actions; if one horse isn’t pulling its weight then another will bite it on the hind quarter. It is hilarious and adorable. The extreme beauty of seeing horses run “wild” in a natural-looking environment left me sitting in my seat motionless and captivated. The horses are directed by vocal calls and hand gestures which makes this show extra amazing. I can only say that I wanted to see more, more, more!

All of the action is set against a backdrop featuring the most amazing sets, re-creating faraway lands and interactive environments. Huge screen use projections to help tell the story of every scene. Whether in the air, on the ground or in the water, the performers use every inch of the set to take you on a transformative journey. By the show’s end, I felt spellbound, knowing that I had seen something really special. You will feel like you are flying when you leave the arena!

Redmond has fully embraced this world-traveling wonder, as tickets have been selling at fast clip. Odysseo has already been extended two weeks! Get yourself to Redmond and take an adventurous trip with Oysseo. You will be changed.