Gainesville is a city known for harboring artists and, for over 25 years, the public has been supporting this community by participating in Artwalk Gainesville.
Started by artists and funded in part by the City of Gainesville’s Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs Department, Artwalk Gainesville is a monthly, self-guided tour that enables the public to explore downtown Gainesville’s rich artistic scene – for free. On the tour, which occurs on the last Friday of every month from 7-10 pm, visitors have the opportunity to see art displays in some of their favorite area businesses and organizations.
Frank Curtis, an area artist, is approaching his second year under the role as Artwalk Gainesville’s coordinator and has already noticed tremendous growth since he began.
“The amount of venues we have varies per month,” Curtis said. “We’ve recently had as many as 24 and, when I was starting out, we had only about 11 or 12.”
Included in the 18 participating venues in July were First Magnitude Brewing Company, the Gainesville Fine Arts Association Gallery, SoMa Art Media Hub, the Hippodrome Art Gallery, Maude’s Café and Sanctuary Yoga. The event, which has become a popular to-do in Gainesville for both young and old, is mutually beneficial between the public, the business and the artists as it focuses on building appreciation of the arts and building the community.
“I think just by the fact that [Artwalk] has been around for over 25 years shows that Gainesville really enjoys it and wants it,” Curtis said. “It’s very inspiring that so many people are involved and willing to partake. If it weren’t for the help of the City of Gainesville, Visit Florida, the Arts Association of Alachua County and several other supporters who believe it’s worthwhile, it would be really difficult – it wouldn’t happen. It’s truly a community project.”
Even this last July, which is typically an off-month for the event due to less people in the area, had a substantial amount of venues involved. This month, Curtis believes, will be even better.
“August is going to be insane,” Curtis said. “Everyone starts coming back to town and school starts. We’ve got some great things lined up, and my guess is that we’ll have at least 20 venues.”
If you’re interested in partaking in this month’s Artwalk on Friday, August 25th, visit http://www.artwalkgainesville.com.
By Haley Clement