Arts & Events

Alder Arts Walk took patrons to the afterlife

The Alder Arts Walk legacy continues as students spent their Saturday walking from house to house and enjoying the themed activities inside.

Students festively painted their faces in skull patterns and other demonic patterns. This all-day series of musical performances serves as an opportunity for students to enjoy interactive art exhibits and local music in good company.

The Alder Arts Walk was created six or seven years ago­—no one is  sure which due to the casual beginnins of the event. This tradition was originally inspired by the string of exaggerated house parties, where students aimed to get local or touring artists and DJs for the night’s entertainment.

This event has been organically passed down from year to year, with this year’s events kicked into gear with the help of students Logan Miller and Landon Gauthier, who helped coordinate this year’s performances.

“The Arts Walk is very democratically run, so there really is no leader or head. Our role is just the semantics and logistics of the event, which include things like sending emails, setting up the initial interest meeting and getting shows ready. Everybody loves the Arts Walk, so people get involved once the word is out. We really just get the ball rolling and let the rest just play out,” Miller said.

“There’s a pretty strong template of what last year’s Arts Walk did and we try our best to mimic it, while also at the same time doing things that we like to do differently. Like last year, it was just continual art from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. and everyone was exhausted by the time they got to the last house, so we decided to put in a three hour break for people to regroup and relax,” Gauthier said.

The two agreed that one of the best things about the event is that the results are unexpected, creating the “do it yourself” Tacoma atmosphere.

Choosing the overall theme of “The Afterlife” for this year’s Arts Walk, Miller and Gauthier wanted to use this broad, controversial theme to spark discussions and casual forums for people to be involved inside every house. As the day got darker, so did the music genres and themed houses.

Keeping in mind that the event would occur all day, the first house, themed “Limbo,” had a chill, relaxed vibe and music for people just waking up.

Within the small, crowded house, Anna Moore, otherwise known as Lobsana, gave an enchanting performance as the last act of the house with music she describes as “dream-like alternative electric music.”

Starting her music career making sci-fi beats, Moore said, “I couldn’t have asked for a better first show. Since my music’s sort of different from what people are used to hearing, I wanted to perform for a crowd that I knew would enjoy the type of music I was playing.”

The second house, themed “Pure Consciousness,” had a folk/indie vibe to it with artists playing an eclectic variety of music.

As people decorated flags and made bracelets in the crowded house, musical artists in the house successfully got the audience engaged and energized.

Playing what Kyle Kübler, the band’s mandolin player, describes as “a mix between traditional bluegrass and new grass,” the Barleywine Revue got the energy flowing in the audience with a foot-tapping combination of incredible vocals and instruments like the banjo, cello and guitar.

Another artist by the name of Vikesh Kapoor shared, through music, his unique perspective on the role the Internet has in people’s decisions.

Greeted by a garland of naked baby dolls, attendees of the third house, themed “Sacrifice,” experienced louder, darker types of music heavily influenced by alternative, hardcore punk and heavy rock and roll. The sounds in the cramped room ricocheted off the walls, creating a rock concert feel.

The “Hungry Ghosts” house served as a resting stop for weary Arts Walkers who could stop by for the potluck dinner and enjoy some food and rest before the last “Hell”-themed house.

A chaotic atmosphere dominated the “Hell” house, with distressed jazz and other types of music exuding from the house.

An overwhelming number of people filled the backyard, kitchen and performance space, with even more coming in. The blank wall of paper in the house was rapidly covered in different artistic interpretations of Hell including drawings of demons, people and skeleton cats.

This year’s Alder Arts Walk was incredible to experience, with talented bands, beautiful art, fun crafts and a whole day of activities to remember. Get involved in next year’s arts walk and keep the tradition going beyond the afterlife.

For more information on the Alder Arts Walk please visit: