Sunday, September 12, 2010

Art Walk makes its debut

Local artists take command

“Who knew that there was so much talent in our own neighborhood?” That was the reaction of one impressed attendee who made the rounds last night. With the weather cooperating and art lovers converging on the neighborhood from near and far (mostly near), Madison Park Art Walk 2010 got underway Saturday evening with a bang.

The event began with a wine and hors d’oeuvres reception at Starbucks, which store manager Iaan Hughes estimates was attended by as many as 250 people (including, incidentally, Starbucks Chairman and Madison Park resident Howard Schultz). That attendance level, Hughes told me, is almost in line with the turnout for the MadArt kickoff event held at this time last year. What followed the reception was three hours of meandering around the neighborhood by art lovers (with wine glasses sometimes still in hand), checking out the 23 Art Walk venues up, down, and around E. Madison Street.

And there was some pretty impressive art on display too, including that of emerging artist Brooke Westlund (that’s her with her art at Park Deli below).

This is my very own resident artist, Margo Spellman, with her art (and my niece Rebecca on the left) at Starbucks:

The most controversial installation was certainly that of “graffiti artist” Robert Selke, whose work was on display at Madison House:

The artists presented by Art Walk were a mixed lot, full-time professionals sharing the spotlight with part-timers (“artists with day jobs”), amateurs, and more than a smattering of “hobbyists”. High-quality art was created by young and old artists alike, including many of the pieces presented by residents of Park Shore retirement community and much of the art displayed by students at the Bertschi, Bush, Epiphany and McGilvra Schools (that’s the truly excellent installation at The Children’s Shop by McGilvra Elementary’s students below).

And it was not all paintings. Ceramics, jewelry, photos, glasswork, and tiles were all part of the show (that’s glass artist Patricia Weyer’s work to the right below, which is on display in the windows of Pharmaca).

All in all it was a wonderful, balmy evening in the neighborhood as musicians played, artists explained, and art lovers enjoyed what was entirely a volunteer-produced event. If you missed the opening, you can still see the art, which is on display (and for sale) through September 30.

Art Walk is sponsored by The Madison Park Business Association. This, by the way, is proudly an "Art Not Ads" website.

[Top photo: the installation at Starbucks by Madison Park artist Isa D’Arleans. Bottom photo: the installation at Martha Harris Flowers & Gifts by Maria Root.]

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