Sammamish Arts Commission Volunteer Spotlight: Lin Garretson

Release Date: January 13, 2021
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The Sammamish Arts Commission recognizes an exceptional volunteer resident who has made overwhelming contributions to the arts and culture in our area.  Lin Garretson, an artist and designer who resides in Sammamish with her husband, David, owns and actively operates Spaces by Lin Garretson. Lin is an award winning interior and exterior designer who provides architectural planning and project management for custom homes & remodels. Lin studied art at Indiana University and served as a Sammamish Arts Commissioner from 2012 to 2017.

During her time as an Arts Commissioner, Lin introduced successful numerous projects and creative events, and the community responded with enthusiastic participation. She developed and coordinated the Special Arts Sammamish Series of programs focusing these art experiences on three underserved segments of our population: teens, seniors, and special needs children. All of these Special Arts Sammamish/Sammamish Arts Commission programs were at no charge to the community.

The multiple programs and events in which Lin was instrumental are wide-ranging and not limited to:

“Au-Some Artists!” is an event planned for students on the autism spectrum or with other special needs. Together with volunteer teen mentors, the participants did experienced printmaking, painting, weaving, and music under the guidance of professional artists.

“Make It A Clay Day” brought together special needs students and teen mentors. This event provided an opportunity to explore “hands-on” activities manipulating clay in a variety of artistic techniques.

 “Make It a Glass Day”: These individual events focused on seniors (55+) and special needs participants with teen mentors.

“Creative Characters” Cartooning was a program focused on creating and illustrating a personal booklet and making clay critters and puppets, including guest Star Wars characters.

“Life Stories”: Teens paired with those 55+ and shared real-life short stories through visual arts, music, poetry, and the spoken word.

“Gen-Fusion” Fused Glass Workshop: separate events focusing on seniors (55+) and teens.

“Theater of Possibility”: Performing social skills through acting and improvisation to include special needs students and teen mentors.

“Gen-Thriller” Murder Mystery Theater event designed for senior/teen interactivity to solve “the case”.

For every year Lin was serving as a Sammamish Arts Commissioner, her programs provided these exceptional opportunities for community residents. Lin also established other events such as “The Poetry Event” partnering with the Sammamish Library, the Klahanie Welcome Event, Party-On, Sing-Alongs for seniors (55+), and Special Arts 2 Go.

Lin volunteered countless hours of her time and expertise to plan and provide well attended popular community staples. For these volunteer contributions, Lin was honored with the Bronze, Silver, and Gold Presidential Volunteer Service Awards during her tenure as an Art Commissioner.

In 2016, the Arts Commission began considering specific public art pieces in Sammamish. For the four years following, Lin devoted her time, energy, and talents on the recently installed “Synergy Rising” art sculpture installed on SE 4th Street.  

Even after 2017 when she departed her specific Arts Commissioner role,  Lin organized and volunteered nearly full-time her unusual focus and talents on this “Synergy Rising” sculpture which included designing the sculpture, selecting materials, coordinating with contractors, making templates, and being present on site on multiple occasions to include installation.  All her work was done pro bono.

It is with pleasure and acclaim that the Sammamish Arts Commission recognizes Lin Garretson for her exceptional efforts and achievements on multiple arts and cultural Sammamish events. Most recently, we are appreciative of her willingness, assistance, and tenacity in bringing to completion an extraordinary permanent art piece which will enhance and entertain Sammamish residents for decades. Lin has exemplified generous caring and sharing, and the Sammamish Community voices and extends its “Thank you, Lin!”