At some point, most young kids draw on the walls with some variation of crayons or markers. When she was four, Jeanne Ward took a different route, drawing on the outside of her babysitter’s house with a charcoaled stick she found in the barbecue.
“It was this sense of so much joy in the experience of marking up this house with the charcoal, that I had no concept of it relating to anybody else in the world,” recalls Jeanne. That’s all it took to set the now 49-year-old Aberdeen woman down a path full of creativity and creating opportunities for others.

Photo by Katie McGregor

As you walk into ART HQx, Hoquiam’s informal philanthropic creative collective, you’re greeted by large chalkboard walls covered with haikus and drawings, colorful curtains, and the friendly countenance of Jeanne herself.

The space she’s cultivated on 7th Street in the heart of the city, makes it obvious that creative ideas are encouraged to run free.

Even the name ART HQx is a bit of a free spirit. People pronounce it “Art Hoquiam X,” “Art H Q X,” and “Art Headquarters X.” As for Jeanne, well frankly she seems to relish the ambiguity and doesn’t offer a definitive pronunciation.

Whatever you call it, if you can imagine it, you can probably create it at ART HQx. Jeanne has a ready collection of free-to-use art supplies including chalk and chalk paint, yarn, beads, paints, fabric, foam, paper, clay and more. All of the supplies are stored on mobile carts so ART HQx can serve its multipurpose function. The space can be used for crafting, but also performances, parties, and even the Galaxy Harbor Bellydance program that comes to the studio once a week.

It’s important to Jeanne that visiting ART HQx can be a social activity or a very private one. The curtains she’s hung up can block off certain parts of the room to create a calmer environment, or one more conducive to performance art, and she’s just as willing to let visitors create on their own as she is to guide and help them.

“I hope to have a space where people of any age can dabble.” Jeanne makes it clear that she’ll provide personal guidance for those who would like it, or she’ll connect them with someone else who can guide them in their creative endeavors. She says that she’s learned a lot from people who come in with ideas she’s never even thought of.
Jeanne may be the show runner of ART HQx, but she emphasizes that the program is really a community effort. Jeanne opened its doors on Logger’s Playday 2019, only one week after she signed the lease. This was possible because of all of the local help she received during the process.
“What I’ve loved about this program from the very first day is that it has been accessible to the whole variety of people who live in the community,” she says.
“It’s really important that people from a variety of socio-economic backgrounds interact together. … This isn’t a free program for people who don’t have money; this is a free program for everybody,” Jeanne explains.
In the years since it has opened, Jeanne has brought many local artists and organizations into the space, including Mark Vincent, Kelly Hogaboom (The Vegan Tailor), Theresa Beck, Judy Clark, and Dancing Crows Studio.
There is always something new going on at ART HQx. The projects and programs offered are made possible through donated time and materials. “I am a conduit,” Jeanne says, “but we couldn’t do it without the remnant donations or the people who come in and make the art.”

Photo by Katie McGregor

The goal is to be as close to zero waste as possible and make use of what might otherwise be thrown away. Jeanne utilizes everything. Bits of chalk are made into chalk paint, scraps of paper are made into clay, and bottle caps are made into sudoku training boards. Jeanne’s top tip for those wanting to start making art is to just try. “Make a little space and time, and if you can’t make space and time, you can find it here at ART HQx.” ART HQx, located at 413 7th St. in Hoquiam, is open to the public from 5 to 8 p.m. Thursdays and from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays. All activities are free to participants of every age. Donations in the form of supplies and monetary support are appreciated. Art HQx can be found on Facebook, Instagram, and Patreon. In addition, Jeanne can be reached at

(360) 209-4546 and at