Art Walk draws crowds to BG downtown area PDF Print E-mail
Written by DAVID DUPONT, Sentinel Arts & Entertainment Editor   
Monday, 29 April 2013 09:02
"Blind Dawg" Benny Miller uses a slide to play a steel guitar as part of an educational performance of the blues at the Wood County Library Children's Place during the Art Walk in Bowling Green. (Photos: Shane Hughes/Sentinel-Tribune)
Inside art-a-site! in downtown Bowling Green Saturday, Gail Nader was counting heads.
Every minute or so a few more people would walk in. Over the six-hour run of Art Walk as many as 1,000 people crossed the threshold. Some made purchases. Others were just discovering the shop, she said. WATCH VIDEO
Regardless it was good for business, Nader said. The arts are good for business. “Art is economic development,” Nader said.
That’s why she’s started working as “gallery director pro bono” at the gallery owned by retired high school art teacher Becky Laabs, and why she volunteered for the first time with the committee.
The arts bring people to the city and help build awareness of Bowling Green as “a socially accepting, dynamic community,” Nader said.
Barbara Ruland, executive director of Downtown Bowling Green, Art Walk organizer, said Saturday’s event was a success.
That much was evident by the crowded sidewalks. As in the past couple years, Art Walk has coincided with a soccer tournament sponsored by Valentis Athletica Soccer Club. This year though the weather was such that the uniformed packs of kickers came downtown for treats and a peek at Art Walk rather than holing up in their motel rooms trying to warm up
With temperatures in the upper 60s under sunny skies, the weather proved just right, Ruland said. “Weather is a big factor.”
Brandon Knott creates pottery from clay during the Bowling Green Art Walk.
The event has struggled at times in the past, Ruland said. This year’s success though bodes well for the future.
Art Walk featured exhibits throughout the downtown with shops and storefronts turned into temporary art galleries, exhibiting work by artists ranging in age from pre-schoolers to senior citizens.
Fifth and sixth graders from the Montessori School displayed whimsical checkers sets with sushi vs. dessert, breakfast foods vs. lunch items, aliens vs. snails. One vacant South Main space was turned into a sprawling art gallery, complete with wall and ceiling hangings, featuring the art work of Bowling Green public school elementary and middle school students. Piano students from various studios in the area provided music.
In H&R Block next door, Kirk Hall was showing his large abstract paintings. He said he hadn’t made any sales as of early afternoon, but had been invited to apply to participate in the Harrison Rally Days show in Perrysburg. Any chance to show his work, he said, is appreciated.
More utilitarian work was also available. Across from Hall, was Richard Rogers selling leather goods including  purses and vests designed for concealed carry of a weapon.
Visitors got a chance to vote on People’s Choice Awards for their favorite artists. This year’s winners were repeat honoree Tom Roller, who exhibited his large metal sculptures in BG Hats & Apparel, and Suzanne Whittaker who exhibited embroidery and oil paintings at A Taste of Amish Deli.
Musicians, actors, storytellers and jugglers also performed throughout the day.
A couple fundraisers piggy-backed on Art Walk, including a luncheon fashion show to raise scholarship money for several women’s service clubs and the sale of decorative flower pots to raise money for downtown plantings.
Art Walk wound up with a party at Grounds for Thought featuring a potluck supper and the music of the local jazz combo, the Silverbax.
Last Updated on Monday, 29 April 2013 14:40

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