Artwalks Bring People Together…enjoying art!
by Denise Leslie
Sorrel Sky Gallery, Durango
The Southwest is heralded across the United States for its vibrant art communities. For tourists and residents alike, the arts bring people together. In an effort to boost community involvement, many towns are hosting regular art walks throughout the year. From Telluride, Salida and Durango, Colorado to Moab, Utah the monthly art walks in the Four Corners region are bringing in new business and attention for the arts.
“Art Walk is a key event that promotes a vibrant arts community in Telluride,” says Kate Jones of Telluride Arts. “It is part of a dynamic set of arts offerings that make Telluride an interesting place to live and visit.”
Telluride has hosted First Thursday Art Walks since 2008. Across the mountains in Salida, the arts community has hosted the First Friday Gallery Tour for 21 years.
“It is always exciting to have a lot of people at once enjoying your art,” says Paulette Brodeur. “Salida is out of the way. The First Friday Gallery Tour funnels a larger group of patrons to our galleries at one time and makes it more festive.”
“(The Telluride) Art Walk is a community wide celebration of the arts,” says Jones. “The event invites people to come into our galleries, see our new exhibits, and meet working artists during a casual, fun, social evening”
Fine art galleries are far too often misunderstood as intimidating or unwelcoming. Art walks can help break down the barrier between the gallery and the potential art lover. They also serve as a way to introduce viewers to new artists, styles, and mediums.
Brodeur Gallery, Salida
“Art walk participants are exposed to this diversity and may develop an appreciation for a type of art to which they may not have been exposed,” says Bret Edge.
Edge opened his photography gallery in Moab last year and began participating in the regular Moab Art Walks soon thereafter.
Durango began its own regular art walk last year. Every first Thursday of the month, downtown galleries host a variety of events – from openings to educational lectures.
“First Thursdays have really helped generate a buzz for the art scene in Durango,” says Shanan Campbell Wells, owner of Sorrel Sky Gallery. “With every art walk, we see more and more new faces. It’s been a wonderful way to introduce our artists to the community.”
Brett Edge Photography
Check your with your local arts organization to find out if there is an art walk in your community. Here is a list of art walk events in our region:
Salida First Friday Gallery Walk
Durango First Thursdays ArtWalk
Flagstaff First Friday Artwalk
Gunnison First Friday Gallery Walk
Ignacio First Fridays