Businesses and local artists showcased in summer art walk
By Jill Earl
Jill Earl photo
Heidy Kux-Kardos, artist in this year’s art walk, has showcased three of her pieces at the Alaska House.
DAWSON CREEK- The South Peace Community Arts Council have paired local artists and local businesses together in their latest art appreciation program.
In mid-June more then 28 local artists and two local art groups handed over their selected work to 18 local businesses who offered up space in their stores until mid-August for the 2012 Art Walk. The community has seen art walks before and displays of local art in downtown businesses in other SPCAC initiatives, but SPCAC president Melissa Holoboff intends to make this art walk an annual event.
“It’s for locals and tourists alike, it’s so that there’s an art appreciation activity to be had in our downtown core...The tourists that have viewed the work have been really receptive to it, so good feedback from the tourists, and we’ve had some good local feedback too,” Holoboff said.
Ed Mah, owner of Bing’s Furniture had participated in SPCAC activities before where he displayed local artists’ works in his store. He says that he had a good experience last time and is happy to do it again. This summer Mah is showing photographs by Tryna Gower.
“A good experience in that it brought local people into the store to look at the product and it also helps facilitate tourism. You know they have the Art Walk advertised and they do have tourists that go from location to location looking at the local art,” Mah said.
Though a lot of participating businesses have seen more foot traffic, the increase of visitors is not necessarily translated into sales.
“It’s just something that we do as a community affair, to give back, we don’t do it in anticipation that people actually come in the store and look around and buy something,” Mah said.
Kris Lowery, owner of Read’s Books is showing Tabitha Logan’s work. Lowery agrees that the increased traffic doesn’t mean an increase in sales, but it has given both businesses and artists more exposure.
“I do have people that come in that have the pamphlets and they’re actually following the map, and I’ve heard many people say that they’re going into many stores that they haven’t been in before, but it hasn’t increased our sales but I’m hoping it has increased exposure to the artist,” Lowery said.
“I just think there are so many amazing artists here in Dawson, and I just wanted to help promote them. The artwork that’s available to everyone here is outstanding, sometimes when we look at our neighbours we don’t really see how talented they are because we see them everyday, so seeing them in a different venue sometimes opens our eyes a bit more,” she said.
Buzz Bin owner, Elaina Tuttle, was pleased to be a participating business. Approximately 12 years ago, Tuttle herself helped organize a weeklong art walk that included poetry, performance art, visual art and dance. About six years ago Tuttle had changed the focus of her tattoo shop to also be a gallery as well; every few months she changes the artwork on display. As Tuttle was already showing local artists in her store, she didn’t need to hang new work. She has also seen more traffic since the art walk began.
“After hours, say I’m sitting around the shop and we’ve had quite a few ladies out for evening walks and looking through the store windows downtown, and then quite a few tourists are popping in now as well... I think people are just coming in here to check out the art period, whether it be on canvas or on skin. They’re checking out our portfolios as well, they might not necessarily be interested in getting a tattoo themselves but they are interested in the art,” she said.
The Art Walk ends Aug. 15.
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