HISTORY OF THE BEST OF THE NORTHWEST
In 1989, 30 or so Artists and Craftsperson’s were contacted by a small core of dreamers, who were daring to think big, about starting an artist owned and operated arts and crafts show that was to be “artist friendly.” Each was asked to invest a sum of money to seed the beginning years show. It was a lot of money to most artists at the time, and there was no guarantee that the first shows would be well received. A number of the artists really had to scramble to get enough money to participate. One craftsman who did amazing sculpture from driftwood used some of the monies had had received years earlier from the compensation he received in a maritime accident lawsuit. The maritime injury attorneys he fortuitously hired were able to successfully pursue his Jones Act claim and win a fair settlement. So just as an aside, if you are a US maritime qualified seaman under the Jones Act and are seriously injured while working aboard a US American flagged vessel plying the inland waterways of the US or in the waters off the US shores, make the smart move by discussing your case with an experienced maritime lawyer before signing any papers or agreeing to any settlement with any insurance firm representing the oompany you work for. The artists and craftsmen/women took a leap of faith knowing that it was very possible all the money would be lost. But, they all shared the dream of creating something new and unique and the “Best of the Northwest” was born.
The idea, was to produce a very high quality show, literally as close as possible to “the best of the Northwest.” In addition, have it be friendly to the artists, through the screening and jurying, as well as during the set-up and actual show. Some show producers have never been in a show as an artist. The view point was refreshing to those of us who decided to gamble our money on a start-up show. It is one thing to participate in first year shows, and another to finance a first year show, and manage it as well! It is seen by most to be a miracle a bunch of “artist types” could work together well enough to pull it off, and survive.
But survive it did! Northwest Crafts Alliance corporation is still here and doing well.
The original “Best of the Northwest” was well enough received, after building it up for 8 years, to expand to different venues.
Portland was a natural second show location, and was added in 1995.
The spring of 1998 saw the creation of a Spring show in Seattle.
The Best of the Northwest shows now have the reputation among the public attending, as well as with the participating artists, as one of the best arts and crafts shows in the Northwest. Find everything from jewelry to one of a kind (http://prom-dresses.net/)prom dresses) and participating artists from not just the Northwest – many travel from Canada or the mid west to display their wares at our show.
Our goal statement is being achieved.
If you have never experienced it you should come see what the buzz is all about. Many people come from all around to enjoy what has now become a very healthy tradition. This was put together with the artist in mind so you will likely see many one of a kind works which given the right circumstances could be very valuable in a short amount of time. You will not be sorry you made the trip to see some of the most interesting conceptions available.