By Jesse La Tour
On March 4th, 2011, The Downtown Fullerton Art Walk will celebrate its one-year anniversary. The Art Walk started last year, when a group of art gallery and downtown business owners got together and decided to create a monthly event that would showcase the growing Fullerton art community and bring together people from all walks of life. One year later, the Art Walk has become a regular part of the downtown culture.
“The Art Walk has brought another dimension to Downtown Fullerton over the last year. Downtown has always been known for great music (and hometown of Leo Fender), stunning theatre, good eats and it’s preservation of original architecture. But now the visual arts are starting to surface, and are rising quickly,” said Brian Prince, owner of PAS Gallery.
Each month since its debut in March, the Art Walk has grown and evolved. There are now over 26 venues that showcase new art every month. And it’s not just art galleries that are involved. Venues include coffee shops (like Max Bloom’s Café Noir and Café West), retail stores (like Buffalo Exchange and Roadkill Ranch), boutiques (like Lolo, Adorned, and the Carpe Diem Experience), and store/galleries like Out of Vogue and Otto.
“The artwalk is an integral component to the artistic community of Downtown Fullerton,” said Kevin Carter, proprietor of Max Bloom’s Café Noir, which will be showcasing the work of local artist Christie Yuri Noh.
The Art Walk has also provided a way to build relationships between arts organizations in Fullerton, downtown businesses, and the public. For example, this March, Tranquil Tea Lounge is partnering with All the Arts for All the Kids Foundation, a non-profit group in Fullerton that brings free arts programs to Fullerton schools. 100% of the proceeds from the kid’s artwork sales will go towards the Foundation.
“We love being part of the Art Walk because it gives us a chance to help promote local artists while becoming more involved with the community,” said Joshua Johnson, co-owner of Josh and Monica’s studio, which will be showcasing a collection of photographic works by the Advanced Photography students of El Dorado High School.
Lolo Boutique will be showcasing the videography of Davis Barber, who produces FullertonStories.com, which offers timely news, vital information and new media presentations that lend a voice and a face to locals, businesses and the community at large.
The Fullerton Museum Center, which has supported the Art Walk since its inception, will be showcasing the illustrations of local artist Virginia Valdez. The Museum also invites the public to create their own silk screen print from a selection of designs inspired by Valadez’ work. Bring your own T shirt or tote – they provide the rest—for free.
The Art Walk also provided the impetus for the creation of The Magoski Arts Colony, a growing cluster of galleries and studios that includes The Violet Hour Studio, Hibbleton Gallery, PAS Gallery, Dittosnaps Photo Booth, and Bookmachine, on Santa Fe Street, just south of Commonwealth.
In March, Violet Hour Studio will showcase the work of local film editor and artist Charlie Visnic who, in March of last year, decided to take on an epic 365 day challenge. He would do one creative thing a day for an entire year and document it all along the way. PÄS Gallery will showcase the work of Jonathan St. Amant with an exhibit entitled “Welcome to Nowhereland.” Hibbleton Gallery will feature a massive group show curated by Bekkah Utermohlen.
The Downtown Fullerton Art Walk: One Year Anniversary is Friday, March 4th, 2011 from 6-11 pm and is FREE and open to the public. Visit www.fullertonartwalk.com for a complete list of venues and more details.