The Last Friday Art Walk appears to be gaining momentum as more than 300 took to the street despite rain on Feb. 29 to enjoy the sights and sounds of art in downtown Maryville.
Event director Katie Gamble said stores, shops, restaurants and other businesses participated in the festivities that began at 5 p.m. and was “officially” over at 8 p.m. The sponsoring businesses held receptions for the different artists displaying work on their premises.
“Despite the rain, once again we were absolutely pleasantly surprised,” said Gamble. “People came out despite the rain. It was fascinating. Everyone had a whole lot of fun.”
At Preservation Plaza musicians played while artists painted to the music. When the music stopped, the artists had finished their work. “I think that might have been one of the coolest shows that night. There was a lot of high energy and a lot going on. There were a lot of people involved in that exhibit and a lot of people were there. “
Gamble said enthusiasm is growing for the event and businesses hosting artists reported more traffic from patrons for the February event than the first one in January. “I feel everyone is showing their support and that’s why I feel this is becoming its own entity. I think it’s all worth it,” she said.
With more than 300 art lovers enjoying the evening, the participation was ahead of the first event, which happened on the last Friday of January. The businesses that participated said they each had a few more than they did for the first event, she said.
“There were so many people, despite the rain and walking around with umbrellas. I think it’s one of those things where the only reason it wasn’t slammed was because of the rain,” Gamble said. “There seemed to be a nice, steady flow and not too many crowded into one location.”
Gamble said patrons also bought art during the Last Friday Art Walk. “People need to keep in mind if they see a piece of work they like, buy it,” she said. “You’re not only supporting local artists, you’re supporting the idea of the Art Walk besides getting a one-of-a-kind piece of art you absolutely adore.”