Art lovers, shopaholics, love-birds, audiophiles and everyone in-between are being invited to the fifth annual Montana Ave. Artwalk and Music Festival.
More than 60 artists and musicians will set up at or near businesses on Montana Ave. from 5 – 9 p.m. on Thursday, July 17. In addition to regular retail opportunities, customers can enjoy free music performances throughout the night and browse the impromptu art galleries that will set up inside local stores.
“It’s a fabulous event,” said Jane Walker of Texture. “It’s enjoyable for me as a merchant because it exposes you to new people. It’s very enjoyable, you have a glass of wine, you walk, you have a nibble.”
She said the evening brings a sense of community to the street.
“Yes, sales are attached to it, but it’s also an enjoyable evening, a lot of it’s about community and supporting the arts, locals and merchants,” she said.
About 50 individual stores have signed up to host an artist for the night. While some stores are displaying work inside and inviting participants to browse, others are establishing sidewalk shows or providing opportunities for public interaction
Kara Taub of Ten Women Gallery said her business makes a living day-to-day on art but that events like the art walk bring benefits to all businesses and residents.
“We like to participate in these events particularly the art walk because we are all artists,” she said. “We think it’s important to raise the profile of arts in our community, it is a fun way to make a visual statement for the whole community by putting art out on the street.”
Taub said the ability to display art on sidewalks allows for larger, and different, kinds of work be seen.
“We all have a very small amount of space in the gallery so when we can use the outside space in the gallery and street, we can bring in bigger pieces and more work we wouldn’t normally have at the gallery,” she said.
Walker said many kinds of art would be available for viewing and purchase creating an event that caters to all interest types.
“Anybody that’s into art will probably hear about it,” she said. “People who enjoy art would seek out something like this.”
She said the experience extends beyond those with an arts focus.
“It’s a great date night, if you’re married or just on a date, it’s very pleasant. What could be better than walking along looking at beautiful things?”
Taub said the festival experience has a lasting effect on those who participate.
“I think it raises the profile of the whole street as an interesting place to go and as a destination, not just a place to stop by and do one thing, but a place to spend an afternoon or an evening,” she said. “It has a knock on effect of bringing people back to the area at another time, they might see things on the night that they didn’t know where there before.”
The art walk and festival is on Montana Ave. between 7th and 17th Streets. For more information visit http://montanaave.com/event/montana-ave-annual-art-walk-music-festival.