This year’s festival artist is Kris Ekstrand, a west coast painter and printmaker. Ekstrand has been long-time Skagit County resident and champion for the arts and environment in western Washington. She has recently relocated to Petaluma, CA and writes, “In California as in Washington, I am captivated by the interplay of contrasting elements: old and new, manmade and natural, the intricate scritch-scratch of surface texture and the beautiful blur of distance.” We had the chance to talk with her about her work and connection to the Skagit River Poetry Foundation.