Art: The annual event returns to Montana Ave. this Saturday. Daniel Farr

From 6th to 17th street, Montana Avenue will look quite different on Saturday from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Retail stores and restaurants will operate the same, but expect sidewalks and street corners to be lined with artwork, activities for children and live music.

Kara Taub, Chairperson of Montana Merchant Association and member of the 10 Women Gallery on Montana avenue said participants can expect to see artwork outside on easels, large paintings, photography, and a little bit of ceramics.

She said the event is an excellent opportunity for community members to celebrate fine art. At least 40 different artists will be displaying their artwork up and down the street along with art displayed inside businesses. There will also be nine or 10 musicians performing throughout the day. Some of the local businesses on Montana are inviting their own musicians to perform inside of their stores as well.

“We like to create events that bring people to the street. And we like our events to be visible. We like it to be, so that you see it as you’re walking up and down the street. It’s just an opportunity to do something different. There isn’t another outdoor Arts Festival in Santa Monica. I don’t think there is one anywhere anymore,” Taub said.

The coronavirus pandemic has hit the arts very hard and also the local businesses in Santa Monica. The art walk is part of the economic recovery and it gives artists the opportunity to show their work outdoors in a safe environment.

“[The art walk] brings people to the street,” Taub said. “We’ve had a lot of new businesses that have actually just opened over the past year, so we’re really happy that we’re able to do it this year. It was canceled last year because of the pandemic.”

The Merchants Association puts together a list of artists that are interested in participating and in partnering with a business, or being outside on the street. The association distributes that list to businesses and helps find artists that would be a good fit.

“It just gives the businesses a kind of a focal point to bring more people into their store,” Taub said. “They can say ‘hey, we’ve got this really cool artist who is going to be here for the weekend’ or whatever it is.”

Not only are the artists displaying their work, but they are also selling their art as well. Some artists will be selling their artwork outdoors while others will be selling through the businesses that they are partnering with.

Taub said, “If they [the businesses] are taking a cut it would be 15 to 20 percent.”

The Montana Art Walk is celebrating its sixth year of hosting this event and is sponsored by Santa Monica Travel and Tourism. Admission is free and everyone is welcomed to enjoy the art, music and local businesses who desperately need help after the devastating pandemic damaged so many American dreams.

On Nov. 27 Montana avenue will host “Small Business Saturday,” and on Dec. 4 it will host its annual holiday walk. Unfortunately, the Halloween Hop that so many Santa Monica children enjoy will be canceled due to the ongoing pandemic.

daniel@smdp.com

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