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Bellevue Alley to Become "Allery", Pop-Up Art Gallery, Event Space Again

Bellevue's "polka dot alley" will morph into the Allery again this summer.

The alley, located behind homes on the 200 block of Van Voast Avenue, will play host to a pop-up art gallery and outdoor event from 5 to 9 p.m. on Saturday.

Darkness Brewing beer will be available and the Bellevue High School Band Boosters will sell food. 

There will also be live music.

The alley is noted for its colorful dots painted on the pavement.

Artists will display and sell their wares.

City Councilman Ryan Salzman said the event is a hybrid block party and civic event. "That's what we think is really unique about it," he said. "With the band and Darkness and artists involved, this will really promote the community."

The event was planned by nearby neighbors.

Everyone is welcome to attend. There is no admission price.

This is the only event planned for the Allery this summer, but there are requests to close it to vehicular traffic four times this season to create a "play alley".

Those will take place on the first Saturday of each month from June through September.

"People can use the space as they want to," Salzman said. 

"I talk to people all the time who remember growing up and playing in the alley. I lived in the alley with my friends," Salzman said. "I can't wait for my daughters to do that, too, and there are people who will say no, you can't do that, it's not safe. And we fundamentally disagree on that.

"An art gallery was the least dangerous thing we could do."

Councilman Pat Hogan said there were talks about closing all the alleys on Memorial Day next year as an experiment.

"People think it would be really cool," Hogan said. "There are towns that shut down streets. It's the same idea, taking something that has been overtaken by cars and giving it back to pedestrians at least for the afternoon."

The event comes as the city is undergoing a serious review of its policies related to pedestrian safety in Bellevue.

Written by Michael Monks, editor & publisher

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