Zachary Burns was in need of a community. As an artist, he said it’s often easy to become isolated in one’s work and not have a way to share and connect with other artists.
“I always wished there was like an ‘artists anonymous’ type group out there,” he said.
Now, Burns and other local artists can be a part of an artist community: APex.
APex is a place for all artistic expression formats including — but not limited to — music, acting, painting, drawing, poetry, photography, sculpture and dance.
APex was founded by Marko Coady almost two years ago. After being encouraged to move to Redmond from Southern California by his nephew, he said he fell in love with the city.
With a background in event production, Coady said he has always loved the arts — though he said he didn’t consider himself an artist. He soon became involved in the arts community and currently serves on the city’s arts and culture commission.
“This community has blessed me and I wanted to do something to give back,” he said.
As a way of “giving back,” he started APex to give artists of all kinds a place to gather, share, learn and be inspired by each other.
Every third Tuesday of the month, APex meets at Soulfood Coffeehouse in Redmond. APex is open to anyone — even those who aren’t artists but are interested.
At APex, there’s no criticism.
“It’s a welcoming, supportive environment,” Coady said.
Attendees are encouraged to bring and/or present something to share, though it isn’t required. At each meeting, attendees form a circle in the coffeehouse, share their work and talk about the inspiration behind it. Coady said meetings are also used for artists to express their ideas for future projects, their frustrations or anything that’s on their mind.
“We focus on the creative inspiration behind our work, and the technical stuff,” he said.
Burns has been attending the meetings almost since the beginning.
“It’s a great opportunity to find and connect with other artists,” he said. “It feels like friends just meeting up to talk about art. It’s a really safe and open space.”
For Burns, one of the things he most enjoys about APex is being able to have a space to share his work before it’s completed.
“It’s great to see the reactions and get feedback from them during the early stages,” he said. “It lets you see it from a new perspective.”
Coady hopes APex continues and that it continues to evolve organically.
“This is a place for anyone. It’s a place to support and instigate art and artists,” he said.
There is no fee or any kind of financial contribution required to be a part of the group.
“I want to give artists barrier-free access to APex,” Coady said. “All are welcome and always will be.”
The next APex meeting is set for 7:15-9:15 p.m. on Aug. 20 at Soulfood Coffeehouse, 15748 Redmond Way. APex will also have a booth with information at the So Bazaar event on Aug. 22.
For more information about APex, visit its page on Facebook.