Art Walk debuts Thursday|Downtown readies for inaugural event

Published 5:01 am Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Lifestyles & Features Editor

Downtown Washington merchants are putting the finishing touches on a new event, the first ever Art Walk.
The event, to be held from 6 to 9 p.m. Thursday, is presented by the Beaufort County Arts Council and Downtown Washington on the Waterfront.
“I have likened this to Music in the Streets for galleries,” said Joey Toler, BCAC executive director. “It will be like an open house, very welcoming with everyone serving refreshments.”
Toler and Beth Byrd, DWOW administrator, have been planning the Art Walk for several weeks. It could be a sign of things to come.
“DWOW is definitely looking for different events that we can sponsor to help bring people downtown,” Byrd said. “The Art Walk will give people a really good opportunity to visit the galleries.”
Thursday’s Art Walk will feature eight downtown galleries, according to Toler. They are the Art Tyndall Studio, Cat Bamboo Ltd., Ciera Silver/Notes Cafe, Crabby’s Stained Glass &Collectibles, IBX Artisans’ Center, BCAC’s Lane Gift Shop &Gallery, Lone Leaf Gallery &Custom Framing and Riverwalk Gallery.
As a special treat, the Washington Civic Center Gallery will be open Thursday evening to allow patrons the chance to view the juried works from the recent BCAC Fine Arts Show.
But other local businesses are also joining in to celebrate the area’s thriving arts community, Toler added.
Stewart’s Jewelry Store plans to showcase a variety of handmade, original, one-of-a-kind items including pottery, jewelry and metal ware. Wine and Words is hosting artist Alexandra Bloch, and Pamlico River Antiques will host artist Kay Woolard.
Russell’s Men’s Shop has asked musician and songwriter Shay Ashby to perform during Art Walk, and Water Street Cafe is hosting two artists that evening, print artist Linda Poore and jewelry designer Victoria Buck. Charisma Boutique also has plans for a special presentation.
Those who are participating in the event hope it will be a boon for downtown Washington.
“I think it’s a great idea,” said local artist Art Tyndall. “I think this town is becoming kind of an artsy little town. There are a lot of artists here, and people don’t know about some of them. This will make everybody more aware of what’s here and what’s available.”
Arts patrons are urged to pick up an Art Walk passport from any participating gallery, Toler said. Those who visit all of the galleries and studios the night of the event will qualify to win a prize.
Toler predicted this will be the first of many such events celebrating the arts in downtown Washington.
“We’ll see what happens this time,” he said. “If it doesn’t become a monthly event, then maybe we could do it quarterly.”