In early 2003, a group of local artists gathered together to discuss the need to support each other in creative endeavors.The talk quickly turned into a plan to organize a county-wide studio tour and exhibition gallery to showcase each artists’ work. Together, these artists brought this idea to the attention of local government leaders and Lewis County businesses and community members.With these combined and cooperative efforts the idea became a reality and ARTrails was born.The successful event provided quality art experiences for the public and was the catalyst for a vibrant and active Lewis County arts community.
Sixteenyears later, ARTrails has grown faster and in ways that were never imagined by our founding members. Our Annual Studio tour brought over 3500 visitors to the studios annually: from 86 cities, 10 states, Canada, Australia and New Zealand (and counting). ARTrails artists represent the organization and the arts on multiple municipal and community boards and organizations including the Chehalis Renaissance Team, public art advisory committee (including the Centralia Sculpture Park - designed and financed by an ARTrails Artist) and the Storefront Art Project – placing original art, cooperative and pop-up galleries, and artists in empty building in our communities’ downtowns. ARTrails has other plans and events in the works and our future decades promise to be even more exciting than our first.
ARTrails is committed to being an ombudsman for arts in the county and surrounding communities, and our artists are dedicated to bringing an understanding and love of art to the communities we live in, our local schools and filling the empty spaces around us with color and delight.