Caroline Henry Art Blog
Yesterday was my first blog entry in a full month, August having been a month of turmoil and distraction for me. Then I started September with an art event which was a real lift. Friday evening, which was Lodi's First Friday Art Hop, I was the artist at Lodi Wine and Visitor Center with a collection of Florals and Still Lifes. The painting here was one of four that sold. (My 90-something year old neighbor picked those persimmons last winter and brought them over in the white basket specifically for me to paint.)
I love community art walks both as a participating artist and as a viewer. In a relatively small amount of space and time, one can view the work of several artists in collections of work that are anything from a careful selection of related works to simply a retrospective of the artist's work. Within a decent drive from my home there must be two or more such events any given weekend. Each one says a community has enough confidence in and joy from the production of its artists that galleries, restaurants, and other businesses can come together to stage and promote a co-operative art event.
People have a good excuse to get out and walk around, visit with other people they run across, know the artists in their community, cadge some free eats and drinks, buy art, eat at restaurants where good original art is on display, enjoy paintings and stock up on wine at tasting rooms, and otherwise get away from the tv and into the world.
Our own was inspired by the Second Saturday art walks that have been a part of near-by Sacramento's art scene for decades, where there are more participating venues than you can get to in many months of visits. The local city Division of Arts and Culture was instrumental in setting up Lodi's Art Hop but advertising costs are shared by the other larger participants, and as cuts were made in city staff, the volunteers at the Lodi Community Art Center took on some of the tasks of administering and fostering the program. It is very much an event where public entity, non-profit organization, and private business work together.