The city of Mercer Island and Chamber of Commerce close off the streets of downtown Mercer Island once a year to host a special event for friends and community members to gather to drink wine, listen to live music, purchase art and savor food.
Returning for its fifth year, Mercer Island’s Art Uncorked has quickly become one of the Island’s favorite traditions.
This year, Art Uncorked will celebrate the coming fall season on Sept. 7 as the MIHS jazz band welcomes community members through the main entrance.
This year, 22 Washington vintners, brewers and cider makers, many with Island connections, will be pouring two or more of their products at booths. Wines poured will be also available for purchase at a small discount that night only.
Per tradition, a portion of the night’s proceeds will go toward the Mercer Island Youth and Family Services and Mercer Island High School scholarships. Last year, chamber director Laurie Givan said donations and attendance were up from the previous year, with more than 660 tickets sold.
Art Uncorked will also play host to several gifted local artists, craftspeople and musicians.
Some of this year’s artists include:
Cute Like Mad
Earth and Clay
Heather J Studios
Heron Island Creations
Isabel Mirabeau Jewelry Design
Magpie Mouse Studios
Olive Branch Natural Body Care
Outside the Box Creation
For music, families can look forward to hearing local musicians such as Gretchen Yanover, La Fonda and Micaiah Sawyer.
Electric cellist, Yanover was immersed in the world of classical music until her 20s, when she expanded her range to include playing in bands. Once she was introduced to a loop sampler, she found a new voice for her instrument. She began to improvise and compose in this context, taking her path to the recording studio. Yanover performs solo with her electric cello in addition to her acoustic work. Her music has been featured in contexts ranging from film to dance to podcast soundtracks. She continues to play classical music as a member of Northwest Sinfonietta, the region’s premier chamber orchestra.
La Fonda is a lyrically driven, indie dream pop band defined by two sisters, singer-songwriters Veronica and Valerie Topacio. The band explores love, longing and loss with harmonically rich vocals, reverberating, 1960s surf-esque guitars, driving bass lines, catchy melodies and 1990s alt-rock nostalgia.
Olympia-based singer-songwriter Sawyer was the winner of this year’s Sound Off competition at MoPop. She blends gritty blues with folksy soul and homegrown pop for an organic Pacific Northwest sound. Her relatable and wise-beyond-years lyrics will quickly make an impression on the listener, connecting them with not just a piece of music, but with the artist herself.
Along with great wine and fun music is delicious food. A few of the food vendors include gourmet natural burgers from Buns, fried chicken from Ezell’s Famous Chicken, rockfish tacos and other seafood from Gemini Fish Too, and handmade sweet treats from Island Treats.
“The Mercer Island Chamber of Commerce is excited to play a major role in presenting this event each year, along with the city of Mercer Island, Mercer Island Visual Arts League and the Mercer Island Arts Council and our very important business sponsors,” chamber board president Ralph Swanson said last year. “Additionally, we couldn’t remotely make this event happen without our wonderful hardworking volunteers.”