The striking brick building with the corner turret presides quietly over the intersection of Market Street and 7th Avenue; a testament to Kirkland history and tribute to the arts. Built in 1889 by none other than Peter Kirk himself, the building was a symbol of his intent to turn the town into a "Pittsburg of the West." Constructed with bricks of red clay local to the area, the building, along with four others, was to be the center of the anticipated “Boom Town.” With the Panic of 1893 came economic depression, and the Peter Kirk Building stood neglected for years until 1962 when a group of community leaders purchased and restored it with a mission to cultivate a “regional cornerstone” for both education of and experiences through art in the community. Today the Peter Kirk Building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is internationally renowned for its ceramics program and art education.
This union of the building and the arts program is a masterpiece in itself. More than a place for ceramics classes, the Kirkland Arts Center grants a distinct piece of history, as tangible as the clay that’s shaped inside its walls. The Peter Kirk Building is integral to the Center’s mission, with longtime community members attending classes for the enjoyment of creating art within that space.
The Power of Art
Kirkland Arts Center Executive Director Kelly Dylla came to the program with a passion for art, nurtured through her teaching in New York City public schools where she encouraged kids to think like artists. She believes that the practice of art helps us to slow down and focus, to solve problems and to think outside the box (or canvas). Kelly combines her background in business, love of art and a knack for building community engagement in order to grow Kirkland Arts Center as the go-to source for arts and art education on the Eastside.
Make Your Mark
Kirkland Arts Center continues to ignite curiosity in the arts and inspire self-expression through classes and after-school curriculum. Make Your Mark is a new after-school program geared toward third- through fifth-graders, leading kids through a variety of artistic mediums while encouraging creativity and imagination.
Through the Looking Glass: ARTbeat Auction and Gala
Eat, drink and be glamorous at the 10th Annual ARTbeat Auction and Gala. This premier fundraising event supports dynamic art agendas like the new KAC after-school program, Make Your Mark. Hosted at the playfully elegant W Hotel in Bellevue, guests will enjoy delicious food and drink with the opportunity to bid on fine art and experiences during both live and silent auctions.
Saturday, Oct. 20, 5:30 p.m. at The W Hotel, Bellevue
For more information, visit KirklandArtsCenter.org.