Combining Words With Light – Light Write Show Opens in Yakima

by on Jul 9, 2014

The Yakima Light Project teamed up with local writers recently to open “Light Write,” a current show at the Light Project gallery. And the success of the show has organizers already thinking about hosting a similar event next year.

The Yakima Light Project is a concept that’s been in the works for about seven years. Born partly from a desire to bring more art downtown, a group of artists, businesses and local arts organizations and nonprofits worked together to open the Light Project gallery in the east wing of Seasons Performance Hall earlier this spring. The group is particularly interested in branding the city of Yakima as a place to visit to view light.

11  Light Gallery by David Lynx

The Light Write show at the Light Project Gallery will be up through the first week in September. Photo by David Lynx

The photos for the current show at the gallery were selected from a 2010 juried show hosted by the (now defunct) Allied Arts organization. The contest encouraged photographers to best capture Yakima Valley Light, so all the photos are of local places.  “A lot of work went into getting these photos,” Light Project director Laurie Kanyer noted about the pictures used for the current show, which were also used in a full-color print booklet that describes the Light Project vision.

When the Allied Arts organization collapsed in late 2013, a collective of writers who had been involved with the program met to decide how to preserve literary events in Yakima.  Of particular concern to the writers’ group was the loss of an annual poetry contest—a contest that’s been held for the last 19 years here in Yakima.

Kanyer said that one of the Light Project pioneers, Stephanie Clevenger, suggested the concept of “upcycling” the photos from the 2010 Allied Arts exhibition featuring Yakima light. She recommended the photos be used as inspiration for poems for a show that could be held at the Light Project gallery.  Although the writers’ group was unprepared to manage a poetry contest this year without the Allied Arts’ nonprofit umbrella, they felt that a gallery show that incorporated poetry from local writers would help preserve the spirit of the annual contest.

Ed Stover, one of the editors of the Light Write project, said that the former Allied Arts contest had “brought a lot of poets out of the woodwork,” and noted that the recognition of local writers had been an important way to encourage people to participate in Yakima’s rich literary tradition. He added that he was pleased with the response to the Light Write show. Kanyer said an estimated 150 people attended the opening last week, which included live music, poetry readings, and the chance to view the photos paired with poems. Writers included LeAnne Ries, Ellisa Ball, Shannon Hopkins and Spencer Hatton.

Andy Granitto from the Yakima Valley Museum (with assistance from his wife, Peg) mounted the individual photos and the matching poems on white panels called “broadsides” and set up the show prior to the opening event held last week. The artists didn’t know which writers they had been paired with, which organizers said added an element of surprise to the collection.

Stover said that the writers’ collective plans to host more events coming up this year, and has been meeting to work on an anniversary chapbook made up of poems from the past 19 years of the Allied Arts contest.

Kanyer said thanks to the efforts of volunteers, they were able to pull off the Light Write show for about $500…quite a feat considering she estimates that a show of this magnitude would normally cost about $5,000 to hang. “A lot of people came together to make this happen,” she said. “We don’t have any paid staff…Thanks to professionals lending their expertise, it keeps our expenses low and helps keep the gallery accessible.”  

A chapbook of poems featured in the show was designed and printed by Dan Peters, the owner of Blue Begonia Press here in Yakima.  

The show will be up until early September. Admission is free, and the gallery is open to the public on Thursdays and Fridays from 12-6 and on Saturday from 12-4.

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Out to Lunch – Eddie’s Bistro

by on Jul 7, 2014

Since our intrepid lunch bunch is willing to follow me anywhere for the sake of this blog, we decided to try a place we hadn’t been to a couple of weeks ago.

Eddie’s Bistro is located in the old Photo Haus building across from Chalet Place on Summitview, and it shares space with Jitters Espresso (a drive-up espresso stand).  The first thing I noticed when I pulled up were the immaculately-maintained lilies that were in full bloom on the patio. I was surprised when I walked in that the restaurant was so nice on the inside–I’m not sure what I was expecting, but I guess I’m more used to eating in places with more humble interiors. Little seating nooks and elegant art made Eddie’s look much roomier than it appears from the outside.

WrapThe other thing that surprised me was how empty the restaurant was for noon on a weekday…given the pleasant atmosphere, I figured there would be many more folks there. Most of the places we go for lunch can get pretty crowded, and I had read online that people were clamoring for more lunch options out in the West Valley area. The wait staff turned the music up partway through lunch (which helped combat the almost-too-hushed atmosphere).

My beau  R. was happy to see Eddie’s had gluten-free pizza on the menu, and I decided to have a veggie wrap. After our waitress told me they were out of potato salad, I opted for a side of pasta salad.

Although we got our lunches promptly, I was disappointed to find out that the dressing on my pasta salad was the same honey-mustard dressing in my wrap (I’d been hoping for more of a contrast for my sandwich). However, the vegetables in the wrap were fresh and crisp and tasted good. Our friend J’s flatbread pizza and R’s gluten-free version both passed muster, although both guys probably wished they’d had a little more food.

 Pizza 1

Wee decided that Eddie’s is an ideal place to bring a friend for coffee and some quiet conversation…next time we go, we’ll be sitting out on the comfortable patio, if the weather’s nice enough.  This summer they’re offering a happy hour from 3-5 p.m. (they also serve alcohol). So grab a buddy and head on over…they’re located at 5906 Summitview Ave.

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Got a Case of the Closet Blues? Skiles on Style

by on Jul 4, 2014


With Case of the Blues and All that Jazz coming up in August — and several other outdoor festivals, concerts and fundraisers — it’s easy to get stressed over what to wear. Remember that we all get the closet blues, and sometimes it just takes one new item (or several!) in your life to pull you out of your style rut. Here are two looks from local businesses you are going to love. They scream comfort, style and summer.

Take 1

The first look features a vintage skirt from Lady Godiva’s Consignment Boutique. It’s paired with a super soft Michael Stars tank and a versatile wide leather belt from Garden Dance. Top it all off with a funky and ethnic-inspired necklace and a darling pair of cork wedges from Priscilla’s Chic Boutique. (I had these wedges on — they fit like a dream and are comfortable. They also have a really great tread…just the thing for uneven terrain like grass.)Page 2

In the second look,the goal is a little more coverage with just as much comfort. Not all us ladies will bare our arms or wear a high-waisted skirt. Here we have a pair of stretch palazzo pants in a gorgeous cream from Priscilla’s. They move with your body like a second skin, and are the ultimate summer pant staple. The tunic from Lady Godiva provides a fun splash of cool colors, and the shoes are a fun and easy-to-wear wedge. Stack up some silver stretch bangles on an arm, throw on the super-light (and cute) blue pouch purse (both from Fiddlesticks), and you’re ready to go.

Either look could be topped with the straw-colored hat — yes, you can look chic while you cover up!

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Christmas in July

by on Jul 3, 2014

The Fourth of July is the perfect holiday for all kinds of zesty and acidic foods–frosty lemonades, spicy barbecue sauces, zingy slaws and salsas. But if you’re on a low-acid and bland diet like I am, a table groaning with siren-song-singing goodies can be one heck of a depressing experience (as any dieter can attest). So what to do at a fun family gathering–other than wear a long face and hide in the corner?

Well, first of all, you always BYOT (Bring Your Own Treats). Fortunately I don’t have to bring all of them, though, because my sister always makes homemade sugar cookies. She makes them twice a year–once for our Christmas family party, and once for our Fourth of July party. I remember about ten years ago when she told me she really wanted to make them for our gathering.

“But it feels so weird making them on the Fourth of July,” she said.

“Are you kidding?” I said. “Bring it on!” Hey, star cookie cutters work just as well for the Fourth as they do on Christmas, right?

This year, I’m packing some drink ingredients along for myself so I don’t feel left out in the beverage department. One of the things I love the most about the recipe below is that I could alter it to my specifications…but other family members will easily be able to whip up the spicier, boozy version (I’m bringing along the habenero-flavored syrup as well as the heat-free version for myself). The honey-based simple syrup adds a very intriguing flavor to this drink, even if you’re not into spicy. (You can find awesome local honey, by the way, at the Yakima Farmer’s Market.)

The base of this ‘tini is one of Tree Top’s newer products, the Fruit Smoothie, which is low-acid enough for me to tolerate and it has a nice substantial mouth-feel. I used the mango version to make this drink (Tree Top makes a strawberry version as well), and I altered the recipe to my specifications. Hey, what’s a holiday without a little something special in your glass? As long as I have my drinks and my desserts covered, I’m a happy woman.

Mango smoothie

You can’t beat a little star anise along with a geranium blossom. (Note: Although some geranium varieties are edible, I’m not sure about the hardy Johnson’s Blue, which provided me with my garnish here. You have to admit it looks pretty, though.)

Sweet and Spicy (or not spicy) Fruit-Full Martini (or mocktini)


1 part Tree Top Fruit Full 100% Fruit Smoothie

1 part vodka

1 part Honey-Habanero Simple Syrup (recipe below)

1/2 part fresh orange or blood orange juice


Directions: Shake the ingredients together with ice, pour into a martini glass. You can shake the orange/blood orange juice into the drink or float it on top after you pour the mixed drink if you wish. The mango Fruit Full with a float of blood orange and the strawberry Fruit Full with a float of orange juice make beautiful colors! Garnish with fresh pineapple cubes and jalapeno slices that have been marinated in a little bit of the Honey-Habanero Simple Syrup and a pinch of cayenne pepper. Cheers!

Honey-Habanero Simple Syrup

1 cup honey

1 cup water

1 habanero pepper, poked ONE time with a knife

Directions: Bring the ingredients to a boil, remove from heat and let steep 1 hour. Want to make it a real eye-burner? Cut the habanero in half to really release the oil. Remove the habanero and refrigerate until needed, up to one week.

Recipe used with permission from the nice folks at Tree Top. Have a fun and safe Fourth, everyone! (And tell ‘em Elly said it was OK to BYOT.)


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Yakima Fashion Lights Up Seattle Magazine Covers…and Franklin Park

by on Jul 1, 2014

Yakima native Carly Holtzinger graduated from Seattle Pacific University in 2010 with a degree in apparel design and business, and she’s been putting that degree to good use lately—both here in Yakima and in Seattle.

“My journey in fashion began in Yakima when I remade vintage garments into contemporary wears (outfits) during high school,” she said. She began the Fashion Front show as a senior project (a fundraising fashion show that’s being hosted this September by the Yakima Junior League).

As part of her new job in the development department at the Yakima Union Gospel Mission, Carly is organizing another fashion-themed fundraiser titled “A Proper Picnic in the Park” to raise funds for the mission that will be held on July 20 in Franklin Park. This Victorian-themed event will feature period music, food, clothing and lawn games. (Tickets and more information can be found here.) [EDITOR'S NOTE: "A Proper Picnic in the Park" has been canceled due to weather.]

Proper PicnicCarly has been busy in Seattle, too. Last year, she styled the wine awards feature for Seattle Magazine’s August cover, a shoot that was held at Gilbert Cellars’ orchards. “It was a beautiful backdrop,” Carly noted, adding that she was impressed with the attire for that shoot that she selected from Steve Goodwin the Haberdasher here in Yakima.

Seattle Magazine asked Carly to style their June cover this year, and she once again found herself selecting clothing from the Yakima area for that assignment. (Note: those of us here at Yakima Magazine have to admit we were thrilled when we realized Holtzinger had selected the same Garden Dance top that Alyssa Skiles from Patina selected for our wine-tasting fashion shoot earlier this year.)


Can you spot the Yakima fashion? Here’s the cover Carly styled for Seattle Magazine this year that used clothing pulled from Yakima-area clothiers. Used with permission.

Carly contacted the Yakima clothing stores that she worked with during the shoot to ask them why they felt it was important to have independent local clothing stores.

Michelle Wyles of Garden Dance told Carly: “This is my small town. I don’t want to live anywhere else…it supports small stores and budding entrepreneurs. Yakima is my sustenance, not only because of the community’s support but because of its beauty and inspiration.”

Kirsten Smith, the owner of Over the Hedge, said she aims to bring farm and fashion together in her equestrian, gift and clothing boutique. “I love Yakima and all that the valley bestows upon us,” she said.

Holly O’Donnell, store manager of the Yakima Macy’s, spoke to Carly on her own behalf when asked about Yakima fashion. “There are a lot of fashion-forward people in Yakima, and I’m a part of the fashion scene to give them the opportunity to find style here in their local town. My dream for the local retail industry is to compete with the metro market on a smaller scale–Yakima has so much to offer—people don’t know that it really is a hidden gem.”

Carly said she was thankful for how Yakima has supported her in her fashion projects, and noted that she felt it was important for people to support their local clothiers. “Not only do these stores dress our town in style, they are the forerunners for future businesses to come in and set up shop,” she said. “I look forward to seeing downtown Yakima bustling.”

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