Monday, October 10, 2011

Oh, ArtWalk...sigh...(A LOVE STORY)

"Marvin" by Simon Kirk.  (No longer) available at Gallery 113.
  This is a love story.  I admit it.  I love First Friday Artwalk.

  I had a friend who was having a party last Friday night.  I told her  "It's ArtWalk, I've missed it all summer long (4 straight months) and if I don't make an appearance, I might...die.."
  There's something special about Artwalk.  It's my favorite social event of the month.  Friends know (or soon realize) that if they want to see me, they have to come downtown.  There is always a huge sense of community--for instance, the Murdoch Center unveiled their community/historical mural last Friday, featuring many prominent and influential black residents from Flagstaff's history.  There's always a sense of celebration--there is wine, music and laughter at every venue.  And there's a sense of the importance of beauty.  We can even take that beauty home with us, and shop-keepers and gallery owners have started to give us options in all price points.

  Sometimes I even get to feel like I have been transported to another town, because the art and atmosphere is so edgy and different--(like when I visited Ivan's show "Unsung" at 100 Mike's Pike.  My friends and I all felt like we had entered into a Tron dance club.)

  John "JT" Tannous, executive director of Flagstaff Cultural Partners says that Artwalk started in either 1997 or 1998.  I remember going back in the early 2000's, when it wasn't as crowded.  Back then, it was more of an inside crowd, the people who came just for the art.  Nowadays, the crowds are estimated at 3,000+ during the summer months.  People are concerned that it has gotten too crowded, and that the true purpose- to promote art sales- is getting lost.  (Listen here to a related KNAU story here.)

  I think the radio spot has a good point.  Celebrating art within a festival-like atmosphere is valuable.  Personally, I have never had a problem with a party, especially if it involves art.  And, as my friends can tell you, going to ArtWalk with me is usually a blend of efficiency, maximum art-viewing, and pleasureable run-ins with interesting people.  I look at my map beforehand.  I make a plan.  I stick to a general area (on Friday it was mostly Southside.)  Sometimes, I even buy art.  So, really, it's the best of all my worlds.

  And as for my purchase, I bought a sweet little painting from UK artist Simon Kirk at Gallery 113.  There's proof that people do, indeed, buy art on Artwalk!  Peeps out there who want to give original art for the holidays...these little treasures are only $35!

Plugged in Robot (not original title) by Ivan at The Pike.  

1 comment:

  1. Hi Elizabeth - greetings from England :)
    Thanks for buying 'Marvin. Great piece about the artwalk, one day I'll make it there myself...