On July 20, Montana Avenue will look a little different. Retail stores and restaurants will operate the same, but expect sidewalks and street corners to be lined with artwork, performance art, and live music.
Over 40 artists and nine musical acts spanning 11 blocks are set to join the annual Montana Avenue Art Walk. The “hotbed,” or highest concentration of artists, will lie between 10th and 12th St., said event organizer Ana Boghosian from the Montana Merchant’s Association.
Boghosian said that the easiest aspect of organizing the event has been finding local artists to participate. She even had to turn down artists whose work was too large to fit in the small boutiques and shops on Montana.
Partnerships between local artists and shops change each year. Store owners both integrate the artwork in their own merchandise and offer up sidewalk space to artists. Employees at the clothing store Jigsaw have scattered paintings by food artist Tasha Powell throughout the store, adding music and lighting to create an “immersive experience,” said Southern California store director Ama Asamoah.
“We want arts and shopping to be an experience accessible to everyone,” said Boghosian, adding that the festival includes interactive elements, like a children’s face painting station and art demos led by students and teachers from the Brentwood Art Center.
Several stores will hold promotions and many will offer refreshments throughout the afternoon.
“It’s not just for Montana, but for the community,” said Jane Walker of Texture. “A small community where you get to enjoy what people do is a really nice thing. It’s harder and harder to find things like this, and harder and harder to find blocks that have boutiques and owner-operated stores.”
This year, Walker is excited to partner with Sossi Madzounian, a fine art photographer whose work has appeared on TV, in magazines, and in galleries across Los Angeles. With Madzounian’s help, Walker has transformed the store into a temporary art gallery.
For future festivals, coordinators hope to expand the festival and welcome even more artists by blocking off a few streets for the afternoon.
“The community is always looking for some kind of new way to support the community, which is what the Art Walk was founded on,” Asamoah said. “It definitely brings out people who aren’t normally on Montana, which is nice to see. “
The Montana Art Walk takes place Saturday, July 20 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.