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6th Street Arts Fair Canceled, but Supporting Local Artists Continues in New Blog Series

August 10, 2020 - by Mason Luvera

Category he(ART) of Bellevue

6th Street Arts Fair Canceled, but Supporting Local Artists Continues in New Blog Series

After careful consideration and exploring the ways the event could be held safely, the Bellevue Downtown Association made the difficult decision to cancel the 6th Street Arts Fair this year. BDA staff determined that canceling the event was the best choice to keep artists, vendors, volunteers and the public safe. 

While this celebrated event won’t take place in 2020, we believe that art and culture in our community is more essential today than ever before. As an alternative to the 6th Street Arts Fair, the BDA – in partnership with Amazon - will feature six local artists who would have participated in this year’s festival through our new blog series: heART of Bellevue.

Throughout August, we’ll profile two artists per week – sharing a bit about them, their work and their connection to Bellevue. It’s a simple way to still connect our community with local creatives while staying safe.  The idea behind the new blog series (and the play on the name) all connects back to the BDA’s Heart of Bellevue campaign.

“A virtual experience of supporting and celebrating local artists is vital during these challenging times,” Mike Ogliore, BDA Vice President of Events & Operations said. “We hope you’ll explore and learn about the crafts by our featured artisans, their connection to the region, and consider a purchase or two.”

We’re excited to kick off our new blog series with the first heART of Bellevue featured artist, Rina Patel. Read her profile below, and support all of our artists who were going to participate in this year’s fair by browsing their artwork and portfolios on our website. Ready for more? Check our website for each week’s artists profiles and sign up for our Heart of Bellevue newsletter.


heART of Bellevue: Painter Rina Patel

Art is equal parts passion, reflection and expression for local painter Rina Patel. A South Bellevue resident, her artwork combines bright and cheery uses of color in an abstract style – an artistic flair she attributes to her upbringing in India and her current life in the beautiful Pacific Northwest.

“I love the Pacific Northwest and the joy I get from our mountains, the lakes, and everything we have,” Patel said. “That color and beauty is reflected in my paintings.”

Patel – a self-taught painter – moved to Bellevue with her family in 2002. She found painting in an unusual way, however. An accountant by trade, she turned her childhood wish of being a painter into reality after a colorful conversation with her young children.

“Painting had always been a dream I had since I grew up,” Patel said. “One day, my kids asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, and I said I already was. That’s when I realized I needed to follow my dream and paint.”

And get started she did. Patel began painting daily, tasking herself to learn the artform and kept at it, quickly perfecting her skill.  At first, it was a simple hobby, but she found new confidence after showing her work to others. Patel would frequently meet a friend for coffee and noticed the local art displayed at their chosen shop, and inquired with the manager. One day, they offered to display her work.

“When you first paint, you look at your art and like it and your family says they like it to, but having others like it inspired me,” Patel said. “That was the boost I needed.”

Her acrylic impressionist paintings themselves inspire, with bright colors and serene use of shapes - Patel describes her style as brimming with positive energy. She’s been selling her work since 2016, with paintings displayed in yoga studios, offices and local and regional artist events across the Puget Sound region. Of course, with in-person events moving online for public health, Patel has followed suit in creative ways.

She’s displaying her work virtually at online shows and is working on creating an online course for those interested in learning to paint themselves. It’s all part of sharing the peaceful inspiration she felt when she began painting, especially in these times. 

“It’s a form of Zen,” Patel said. “To bring some of that to other people, that’s what I’m working on right now.”

For more information on Rina Patel’s work, visit her website.