Saturday, August 3, 2013

Walking the Art Walk

Last night I got to lead a small tour of the Downtown Fullerton Art Walk.  It was a group of city planners and consultants from other cities who were interested in experiencing the art walk for themselves, learning how it works, and maybe trying to get an art walk going in their cities.  There were planners from Tustin, Santa Fe Springs and (I think) San Clemente.

It was a little surreal at first because I felt like the least "professional" of the group, yet I was the one leading the tour.  I suppose I'm an "expert" on the Downtown Fullerton Art Walk, because I helped get it started.

We started at the Magoski Arts Colony, where my gallery is located, and walked the Art Walk.  We went to Studio EMP, to Blanquel Art on Wood, to all the cool galleries and boutiques in the Carpe Diem Experience (like Share & Do Good and Internal Gallery & Oddities).  We popped into Lather One barbershop, Max Bloom's Cafe Noir, Eden Cafe.  We got some refreshments at Unity Salon, where my friend Katie was showing her work.  We cruised down Harbor and headed to The Night Owl, Out of Vogue, and Roadkill Ranch.

As we walked and checked out the art, I explained how the art walk got started, how it's independently run (without city funds), how each venue is responsible for curating a new show each month, how our art community has grown and is still growing.

I felt like a real "man about town" because I'm now friends with all the venue owners and many of the artists.  At every stop, there were handshakes and hugs.  It got me thinking about how, when I was younger, before we started Hibbleton Gallery and the Art Walk, I was a very quiet and introverted person.  I wasn't very "social."  I wasn't a "hugger."  I was a kind of lonely, solitary guy.  But now I am "out of my shell."  I hug people all the time now.  The Downtown Fullerton Art Walk community has become like a second family to me.

We ended our tour where we started, at the Magoski Arts Colony.  It was around 7:30 or 8 and the place was getting pretty crowded.  The city planners thanked me and we parted ways.  I would be hugging a lot more people before the night was over.

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