Stroll the city at June’s Art Walk

Summer is here, and Last Friday Art Walk is 18 months old. In the short time since the first Art Walk in January of 2008, the monthly downtown celebration of the arts has grown, prospered and refined its mission.

For June, a dozen businesses reaching from Southland Books to the Village Tinker to Canvas Salon and Razberries will join in the Friday night fun and festivities. Artists being featured include painters, musicians, actors, photographers, carvers and even a builder of canoes.

Maryville Arts Coalition executive director Katie Gamble said some months have been busier than others since the event began in January of 2008. Each month, however, folks know when they come out for Art Walk, and there will always be artists showing off their work, Gamble said.

“They know that it is one night of the month when they can come to downtown Maryville and socialize and get together with neighbors and have a good time,” she said.

Gamble said the arts are the universal language in a community. “I really think art brings people together, and it communicates through different languages and cultures and people. It’s a beautiful way to bring a community together,” she said. “It inspires young kids to be more creative when they see art and experience it, and that’s really important.”

At Fine Arts Blount, “water” is the theme for the June Art Walk.

Karen Brackett, exhibit chairwoman with Fine Arts Blount’s ArtSpace Gallery, said this month’s gallery theme is water. “We’re going to have artists bring in art related to water. It could be sculptures or painting. It could be a still life, landscapes, oceanscapes,” Brackett said.

Centerpiece of the exhibit at FAB this month is a canoe made by Jeff Proulx. “His canoe is gorgeous, two tone with two types of wood,” she said.

Proulx said he’s not formally trained as an artist but started building boats. “I saw a unique design when I was a kid and thought it was most beautiful thing I had ever seen,” he said. “When I thought I had enough skill, I started building it, and now it’s done.”

Maryville Arts Coalition also has a new logo that will be seen in the coming months.

The image shows a tower similar to the one at the Maryville Municipal building. At the base of the tower are symbols of different artistic disciplines.

Gamble said the board wanted the logo to present the idea of a community of different disciplines of art. “The idea is really to bring arts communities together so we wanted to have something that represented our hometown of Maryville and that gave the impression of all the disciplines, not just visual art or music, but all art, including dance, performance and theater,” she said. “Having an organization that unites all disciplines of art for the community is the most important thing.”

Gamble said it was a challenge to create an image or logo that describes all the different disciplines. “It took us a while to come up with something we felt was right,” she said.

Gamble thanked ArtWorks, Inc., president Brad Spires for helping her refine the image before she took it to the board for them to approve. “They’re going to redo our website so we can get a more organized and make it easier to maneuver through the website,” she said.

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