ArtWalk to be 'mega-sized' with larger format
By JACQUE HILBURN-SIMMONSjsimmons@tylerpaper.com
Downtown Tyler is going to the arts, in a big, big way.
The quarterly ArtWalk, set for 4 to 9 p.m. Saturday, is being "mega-sized" to include expanded hours, a larger format and a more flexible day of the week, organizers said.
More than 20 visual artists are expected to display their original work along the sidewalks lining downtown and at the T.B. Butler Fountain Plaza.
ArtWalk has been around since December 2009, and many involved in its creation felt it was time to roll out new features that reflect the preferences of attendees, Main Street Director Beverly Abell said.
"We did some polls, including one on Facebook, and people indicated they wanted them to be longer and to move them to Saturday," Ms. Abell said. "We did both of those, to honor our patrons' wishes. ... This is really a celebration of the arts."
Mediums included in the exhibit include acrylic, oil, ceramics, woodworking, photography and tribal art to name a few.
"We have a new logo," Ms. Abell said. "We not only expanded the hours, we also expanded the content."
The diverse collection of artists featured Saturday is expected to include everything from a blacksmith and spray paint artist to "make your own" pottery tiles and a caricature artist.
And for the first time, ArtWalk is set to include a large stage with musicians and dancers, including Fly Dance Company from Houston, performing a 4 p.m. "Healthy Hip Hop" program aimed at young people.
FlyKids are expected to join in the production, with other presentations offered by the Tyler Junior College Academy of Dance and poet Aaron Dunn.
In other attractions, downtown artist David Wallace, known for his "found art" assemblies, is expected to create a one-of-a-kind installation to remain on display after the event concludes.
The "Art of Peace" project is to set up a display in the conference room of Gallery Main Street, where Keep Tyler Beautiful will work with ArtWalk attendees to create origami peace cranes.
Also at the gallery, visitors can stop by to enjoy the popular 6x6@110 exhibit and fundraiser.
A new addition to the occasion will be a memorial for late ArtWalk supporter and revitalization volunteer Debbie Johnson Arredondo, who passed away this month.
"Debbie's Creation Station," organized by friends and Heart of Tyler board members, is intended to let visitors create their own work of art as a way to commemorate her love of creativity.
"She was all about creativity, she loved the 6X6 exhibit and the gallery shows," Ms. Abell said. "Some of her closest friends really wanted to celebrate Debbie at ArtWalk and this is what they created."
Also on the square, a newly formed fiber arts group will exhibit its creations en masse on the plaza.
For film buffs, teasers for the upcoming Downtown Tyler Film Festival, set for Oct. 24-27 at Liberty Hall, are to be shown in the gallery area.
The movie, E.T. will be shown at 2 p.m., allowing people to first attend the movie and then stroll over to ArtWalk, Ms. Abell said.
For more details about the activities, visit www.downtowntylerarts.com
or call 903-593-6905.