Arts Walk returns downtown Sept. 28

MORGANTOWN — It will be a little easier to spot downtown businesses and organizations participating in this year’s Arts Walk, set for 6-9 p.m. Sept. 28.

“Instead of the tiki torches we’ve used in the past, we’ll have lit balloons,” said Barbara Watkins of Main Street Morgantown, which organizes the event. “They light up and blink and it really helps with the visibility.”

The gathering, scheduled to coincide with WVU’s Fall Family Weekend, showcases work from roughly 100 area artists at more than 50 locations in the city’s center.

“We’re anticipating over 1,000 people will show up,” for the evening stroll, Watkins said.

Arts Mon, Monongalia Arts Center (MAC), Appalachian Gallery and Tanner’s Alley Leather Design Studio are information points for Arts Walk.

Besides getting the scoop at those spots, each will also highlight at least one creator.

For instance, Arts Mon, at 201 High St., will host an opening reception for Steve Pavolvic’s exhibit of paintings, “Dang Me!” (see more on Page 7-C). And MAC, at 107 High St., will feature comedy, painting and multimedia exhibits.

In MAC’s Davis Gallery, the Artist Collective of West Virginia will present “Screen Shots,” and exhibition that celebrates the big screen. The Benendum Gallery will feature “As I Stroll,” the work of Pittsburgh-based artist Christopher Boring. The exhibition follows two series of work: “Along the Path” — a study of personal memories — and “Yinz” — a study of the physical aspects of walks through Pittsburgh.

Comedian Krish Mohan will take the stage on the Tanner Theatre at MAC’s Arts Walk After Hours, beginning at 9:15 p.m.

Watkins said that farther up High Street, The Metropolitan Theatre is getting in on the action this year. Staff will give tours and explain the history of the 371 High St. theater. Participants can also sign up for a chance to win two VIP passes to see Kenny Wayne Shepherd perform there Nov. 9.

And, she added, both Trinity Episcopal Church at 247 Willey St. and Wesley United Methodist Church, at 503 North High St., will host talks about their stained-glass windows.

“They’ve had it in the past, but not for the last couple of years,” she said. “So it’s nice they’re bringing it back.”

“We have things happening all over the downtown district,” Watkins added, citing participants such as The Scholar Hotel and Old Stone House on Chestnut Street, Retro-tique and the newly opened Hoot and Howl on Walnut Street, and several Pleasant Street establishments like Black Bear Burritos and Furnishings for U.

In fact, music venue 123 Pleasant Street will host an exhibit, “Bury Me in West Virginia,” featuring six established artists. The opening reception coincides with Arts Walk and the show will be on display for three weeks.

“These are active, local artists who are practicing professionally and have been for awhile in the community,” said exhibit organizer, Malissa Goff Baker, a painter whose work will be displayed along with Mike Loop, Brian Pickens, Penelyn Van Orange, Beth Keener Flanery and Ben Goff.

Works range from woodwork pieces to sculpture, stained glass and multimedia.

In addition to plenty of visual art, Watkins said musicians will play at a variety of locations, including the newly renovated Courthouse Square, the 400 block of High Street, The Cupcakerie and Garcia’s Grill at the Cue.

“We have a huge group of artists in our area and we want people to realize you don’t need to go out of town to find great art,” Watkins said. “We are showing people how much talent we have right here.”

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