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About ArtWalla

ArtWalla was originally formed in 1992 as the Blue Mountain Arts Alliance, a non-profit organization engaged in facilitating the acquisition of public art and education about that art. ArtWalla’s legacy is visually evidenced by the stunning collection of public art gracing Walla Walla’s historic downtown core. In 2011, leadership of ArtWalla shifted to an all-volunteer board committed to the challenging work of restructuring to serve the broader arts community.

Our Mission

ArtWalla encourages and empowers local creative artists, engages the community, and enriches life in the Walla Walla Valley.

Our Board

President - Patty Gardner

Five years ago, I participated in the first ArtSquared event, which was terrifying for me, but more importantly, amazing to see how this community supports artists and the arts. Because of events like ArtSquared, Dia de los Muertos, The Creative Network, and the strong involvement ArtWalla has in promoting all arts in the valley, my partner Jean and I knew Walla Walla was the place we wanted to live full-time, so we moved here from Seattle two years ago. One of the first things I wanted to do was get involved in this strong art community. I am very proud and excited to be on the board for ArtWalla and honored to work with such a talented group of folks.

Treasurer - Tricia Harding

I moved to Walla Walla over eight years ago and promptly got recruited to join ArtWalla’s board of directors.  At that time ArtWalla was focussed on Public Art and I had just left a community where I was chair of the City Commission for Art in Public Places.  It was a good fit and a great way to meet the arts community in Walla Walla.  Fast forward 8 years and I am still excited to be working with a wonderful group of commitment volunteers that want to see a vibrant arts community in the Walla Walla Valley.  I am very proud of all that ArtWalla has accomplished and so love all the creative opportunities in our community.  We are all very lucky to have so much available to us in this tiny corner of the state.  In my free time I am a mixed media paper artist who loves playing in my studio and collaborating with creative people.

Lorna Barth

I believe ART to be the expression of humans in a place at a time of change. ART can help bring about the change necessary to retain our dignity, celebrate our cultures, and provide historical touchstones.  Art is the influencer, and all artists have the right to bring their vision to the whatever media brings it to the fore; be that on canvas, paper, glass, ceramic, stone, screen, film, or fabric.  

When artists work together to bring that about, humanity has the chance to be made better for it.  ArtWalla strives to provide that support and chance for artist’s works to be appreciated and enjoyed as part of our shared time and space on this planet. 

I believe in ART - FOR ALL - ART BY ALL – ART WITH ALL. 

This is the only time we have to make that happen. 

Brenda Bernards

After a successful Urban Planning career, practicing in the Cities of Toronto, Portland and Nashville, Brenda Bernards retired to Walla Walla in 2016.  She has always been an avid photographer and wanted to explore additional artistic paths.  When an opportunity to take Joyce Anderson’s watercolor class opened early in 2017, Brenda stepped into a whole new world of creativity.  A second opportunity presented itself with Greg Tate’s drawing class.  Initially taking the drawing class to improve her watercolor skills, she discovered the appeal of graphite and charcoal as an artistic medium.  Brenda draws inspiration from both the photos taken on her travels and scenes from everyday life.

“One of the best things about Walla Walla is the diversity of art forms on tap for a city its size.  I am so pleased to be a part of this creativity.  Being a Board Member of ArtWalla allows me to give back to this community that is so welcoming to emerging artists.”

Joel Libby

Michele Rennie

I'm a PNW art fan who enjoys learning about art across all mediums and I'm intrigued by the artists who create it. With my business background, my goal is to contribute to the board in a meaningful way. 

I've just started working in ceramics and hope someday to be able to place my work alongside our wonderful artists at ArtSquared.

Katy Rizzuti

Sonja Rootvik

I was born and raised in Walla Walla, and have loved watching the county grow and flourish over my lifetime. I graduated with a BFA from Walla Walla University in 2014, and have always kept art in my post-grad life, whether it be teaching art classes to elementary school students, making signs and chalkboards for businesses, or hosting my own shows around town. A lot of my work is inspired by nature, especially Alaska, where I commercial fish every summer.

I was introduced to ArtWalla through ArtSquared in 2018, and am excited to be part of the board. I hope to bring energy and new ideas to ArtWalla, and to inspire more people to be involved in our art community.

Program Director - Elizabeth Rowden

Our Program Director is ArtWalla's very first employee and was hired fresh out of college in 2021. Elizabeth grew up just outside Walla Walla in Burbank and has always had a passion for the arts. Growing up she played the trumpet in her school's band program and participated in their Drama Club as well. 

After high school Elizabeth chose to go to Washington State University to major in Business, after a few years she realized her passion was not with business and changed her degree to Digital Technology and Culture. She graduated in May of 2021 and shortly after found a home here with ArtWalla.

"The past two years in this position has been one of the great adventures of my life thus far. Everyday I learn something new. Helping ArtWalla grow has been amazing and I am looking forward to the next two years being filled with even more opportunities as we work through our Strategic Plan."

Contact us at

130 Rose Street #102

PO Box 2192

Walla Walla, WA 99362

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