Last Friday Art Walk

Celebration continues as MAC embraces all art forms

With the first Last Friday Art Walk of the fall season comes the beginnings of a commitment from organizers to reach out to more mediums of art for the popular monthly events.

“We’re trying to develop Art Walk as a multiple discipline arts event for one night a month,” said Maryville Arts Coalition executive director Katie Gamble. “We want all the disciplines to come together and share their media with the community.”

On Friday, Sept. 25, one of the focuses will be on literary arts. To help celebrate The Big Read, Southland Books on East Broadway will celebrate literature, The Big Read and throw in a dose of music.

Pistol Creek Catch of the Day will begin playing at 6:30 p.m. at Southland Books in celebration of The Big Read. Visitors are asked to bring a canned good or nonperishable food item to donate to local food pantries. The Big Read book is “Bless Me, Ultima,” by Rudolfo Anaya. The Big Read is a nationwide initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) designed to restore reading to the center of American culture.

“So much of Art Walk in the past has been focused on visual art, so we’re excited to have literary arts in Art Walk with the Big Read,” said Gamble.

Visual arts will not be forgotten. Jonathan Howe will be at Boyd Thomas Clothing. “He is a fantastic portrait artist who works in oils. He’s a young, up and coming local artist, and I’m really excited to have him participate. His work is phenomenal,” Gamble said.

Artist Tess Gray will be at Professional Hair Design. Village Tinker will have ceramic artist David Grant, and Fine Arts Blount will have their scheduled group exhibit on the first floor of the ArtSpace Gallery. On the second floor will be a glass and pottery exhibit. “They’ve been developing special events in the upstairs part of their building, which has been wonderful,” Gamble said.

In August, the 2009 Tribute to Music was a great success said Gamble. Next year organizers are planning an even bigger canvas for the community art project so the “big” kids can paint to the music with their children.

“Kids don’t realize the music is inspiring the way they brush across the canvas,” said Gamble. “Hopefully we’ll get the big kids involved next year. The idea was for people in our town to listen to music and create a piece together. Next year we’re going to have to get a bigger canvas and let the adults know they can get in there and paint with their children. It’s a community project.”

Gamble said the Tribute to Music for Last Friday Art Walk in August was successful despite the weather.

“The bands were absolutely fantastic. We had quite a few artists who came and painted to the music, and we’re hoping for more for next year. We hope as word spreads more artists will come out,” she said. “Overall we’re really happy and pleased with the results. It was fun.”

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