Two big events are going on around the Harbors this weekend.
A diverse group of about 40 “Kindred Spirits” will put on the 13th annual Tokeland-North Cove Art Studio Tour & Auction on Saturday.
Local artists will open their studios and share space with others looking to show their work. Public displays and demonstrations will run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 12 locations.
One of the studios that will open its doors to the public is Elements Glass in North Cove, where Jeremy Bartheld will give live glass-blowing demonstrations throughout the day. He’s also hosting stone sculptor Pierre Mollinet, who’s coming down from Port Orchard to show his unique works.
Renowned driftwood artist Jeffro Uitto also will open his Knock on Wood studio to the public. He’ll share his space for the day with metal sculptor Yoseph Admz and Rick Wilcox, who creates glass float assemblages.
In addition to several other local studios, four public areas will become art galleries for the day. At the Namscac Heritage Museum, Earl Davis will demonstrate indigenous woodcarving of Shoalwater Bay. The Tokeland Hotel will host several artists in its lobby, while Shoalwater Pottery will demonstrate pot-throwing at the adjacent Capt’s Tavern. And the Nelson Crab & Seafood Market at the Tokeland Marina will have several artists on display.
Other artists demonstrating their crafts throughout the day will be Robin Spady, who’ll be working with a loom at Shoalwater Bay Tribal center; and Marguerite Garth, who will be doing encaustic (hot wax) painting at her Tokeland studio.
Free maps pinpointing all participating locations are available in advance at the Georgetown Station Library, the Tokeland Hotel, Nelson Crab and the Westport Visitors Center.
After the tour, the annual wine-tasting and art auction will start at 6 p.m. at the Tradewinds by the Bay Hotel & Conference Center, 4305 Pomeroy Lane in Tokeland. Artists participating in the studio tour are donating pieces to be auctioned, with the proceeds to benefit Ocosta High School’s art program.
The annual Grays Harbor Shorebird and Nature Festival will be held Friday through Sunday, with its base of operations at Hoquiam Middle School.
Topics of expert talks to be held at the school or out in the field include identifying shorebirds, getting to know coastal raptors and bringing back bees.
Visitors may go to the nearby Grays Harbor National Wildlife Refuge at no charge for guided shorebird viewing. Shuttles will be available from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday between the school and the refuge, where local experts will be on hand to help identify the birds and provide other information.
Guided field trips also are scheduled for various shorebird viewing locations along the coast, both north and south of the Harbor, for fees ranging from $35 to $45. More were added to this year’s schedule to accommodate demand, but many are already sold out.
Vendors and local organizations will be selling their wares and sharing information all weekend at Hoquiam Middle School. The “Birding Marketplace” will be open to the public from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, and from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. Among the new exhibitors this year is the Coastal Observation and Seabird Survey Team, which trains community members to help identify dead birds found on the beach, among other things.
Also during those hours, the Nature Fun Fair will be conducted by volunteers at the school. Kids of all ages will be able to participate in various artistic and educational activities there, including creating masks for Sunday afternoon’s Procession of the Shorebirds.
All proceeds go toward education programs and research at the Grays Harbor National Wildlife Refuge in Hoquiam.
Dogs are prohibited year-round at the refuge, and they will not be allowed at any of the related events, including the field trips.