Downtown In the News / Lifestyle

Museum and Gallery Walk Tonight!

From the Daily News-Record

Stepping Up For The Arts

Posted 2008-10-02
Museum And Gallery Walk Highlights Local Talent
By Kate Elizabeth Queram

Visitors listen to a group of folk musicians on South Main Street during last year's fall Museum and Gallery Walk.
Visitors listen to a group of folk musicians on South Main Street during last year’s fall Museum and Gallery Walk.

File Photos

Downtown Harrisonburg will have a different vibe this Friday.

At four different locations, passersby will be encouraged to stop and participate in a “Big Draw” by drawing pictures on newsprint taped to the walls. Acoustic guitar music will waft from the Smith House, where watercolors, pottery and photography from a Mount Jackson co-op gallery will be on display. People walking by Earth & Tea Cafe may hear lines of poetry being read by members of the Furious Flower Poetry Center. And that’s just the beginning.

Multiple Harrisonburg establishments will open their doors to local artists Friday at 4 p.m. for the fall Museum and Gallery Walk, giving residents the chance to see downtown in a new and creative way while showcasing the area’s vast pool of artistic talent, organizers say.

“The goal is definitely to bring a spotlight to the local talent here,” said Ashley McCoy, assistant director of the Arts Council of the Valley, the event’s main sponsor. “There are tons of creative people around here. It gives them a chance to shine and present their works locally.”

In addition to being able to showcase their work, some local artists appreciate the event for the stimulating, creative environment it puts them in.

“I like any time there’s artistic expression. It’s just great for an artist to be immersed in that,” said Grammy-nominated musician Scott Murray, who will be playing at the Smith House. “As an artist, I’m rather selfish in regard to that – I know I’m there representing an art form itself, but I like being in that environment because it’s creative.”

Judy Ligon, a local artist in charge of the “Big Draw,” hopes to add to that environment by directly involving the public in the creativity.

“It’s open to everybody, young and old, using crayons, markers, pens, pencils, charcoal and chalk [to] draw on newsprint,” Ligon said. “It’s like, why not do this? … It makes it a community creative opportunity.”

Finding and participating in creative endeavors whenever possible is important, especially as art classes continue to be eliminated from school curriculums, said Murray.

“There, to me, is more of a need to see that human endeavor – getting out there and immersing yourself in that sea of creativity,” he said. “Come out and be. Just come out and be that.”

Ligon agreed that promoting creativity with local events is important.

“It gives everyone in the Harrisonburg and Rockingham area a chance to come downtown and experience the arts,” she said. “It’s a great chance for community.”

The fall Museum and Gallery Walk is from 4-8 p.m on Oct. 3 on and around Court Square and along Main and Market streets.

The event is sponsored by the Arts Council of the Valley and Harrisonburg Downtown Renaissance. It’s free, with some establishments offering free refreshments and shopping discounts. For the event’s entire schedule, call 801-8779 or go to www.valleyarts.org.

Contact Kate Elizabeth Queram at 574-6272 or kqueram@dnronline.com

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