Saturday, February 9, 2013

The Downtown Fullerton Art Walk

One thing that makes Fullerton unique is the Downtown Fullerton Art Walk.  It started in 2010, when some friends, gallery owners, and local business owners decided to try to put it together.  We wanted to create something that hi-lighted community and creativity.  We took our inspiration from other community art walks like the ones in Santa Ana and Los Angeles.

It started at a very grass-roots level.  It wasn't like we got a big grant to do it.  We were just a group of ordinary people who wanted to make something cool, and to maybe make our community a little better.  So we started having planning meetings, working out logistics like designing posters, making a web site and facebook page, deciding how to let people to know where to go on art walk night.  It was actually a lot of leg-work, but it was exciting and fun, because we were bringing something new and different into the community.

We started with maybe 15 venues involved in the Art Walk--a coalition of galleries, coffee shops, salons, boutiques, and retail stores who all agreed to hang new art on their walls every month and help promote the event.  The costs were pretty minimal--just printing costs for posters and maps.  The benefits were potentially big: more people visiting places downtown, a growing sense of real community, and lots of new venues for local artists to show their work.

From the very beginning, the art walk was a success, and it has grown organically every month.  We now have around 30 venues who participate and we are building relationships with other arts organizations in town, like Fullerton College, the Fullerton Museum Center, and All the Arts for All the Kids.

On March 1, 2013 (in just a couple weeks!) the Downtown Fullerton Art Walk will celebrate its 3-year anniversary with a massive event at the Fullerton Museum Plaza.  All the participating art walk venues are invited to set up a booth, showing artwork and other creative things they do.  There will be live bands, live dance performances by CF Dance Academy, food trucks, and lots of creative activities and things to do, for both kids and adults.

The Downtown Fullerton Art Walk has become an important part of Fullerton's culture.  I love being a part of it, and I'm excited about how it will grow and evolve in the future.

1 comment:

  1. Joe Washburn
    Eng. 60

    First thing first, that is pretty cool to start up something like the Art Walk. I am sure you guys where hanging out, having a few drinks, and the subject came up, maybe in a joking kind of way. No matter, you guys got together and started the Fullerton Art Walk, freaking awesome! So I am starting to draw a bit of a blank on what to write down. My thoughts are going towards this being a really sweet alternative to the typical movie date night. At the movies you are sitting in a dark theater, well that doesn’t sound so bad for a date, watching a movie. The proper educate is that you are not to talk during the movie, otherwise you are being rude to the rest of the audience. I do agree with that, it is rude. I am there to watch the movie , I spent enough for the damn thing! I want to watch it. Which brings up the fact that the walk doesn’t cost you anything, so that is always helpful. Though that is not where I was trying to get to. The point I was meaning to make was that you get to be outside walking around a great town, checking out stores, that you probably wouldn’t have popped into on your free time otherwise. All the while having an open, free flowing, conversation about this art, and your interpretation of what the artist is trying to say or not say. Then at times chiming in on a conversation that you are overhearing that you just have to put your opinion into the mix of and before you know it you have met all these wonderful like minded people and had a great night of conversation. Hell for that matter you can go out solo and perhaps get a phone number or two to call for a date to the movies. Remember that typical date night , where you are in a dark theater. Your arm around your girl as she snuggles up to with her hand on your thigh… Well that’s not sounding so bad anymore. Though the choice is yours, a night on the town checking out some cool art, meeting new people and getting a better knowledge off Downtown Fullerton or snuggling up with your girl at the theater. Either way, what these guys have done in just three years is freaking cool!