For Patricia Karr, owner of Artisans, a Texas Gallery in Fredericksburg, it’s the laid-back part that she believes is integral to the longstanding success of First Friday Art Walk, not just for visitors but for the artists. Her gallery on Main Street provides a comfortable experience in what she calls a Texas-friendly atmosphere. “I send folks looking for something specific to other galleries, and other galleries do the same for me.” The gallery hosts new work each month from Texas artists only. Another art walk plus: the casual ambience of going from one gallery to the next encourages visitors to look around and ask questions without sales pressure.
Still, art walks can be very good for the business of art and business in general, especially in Johnson City. Anne Bradley of Texcetera Gallery (owned by Patty and Tim Elliott) and artist husband Barry Bradley have witnessed the growth firsthand, from four galleries to ten in less than five years. “That’s pretty phenomenal for a town with a population of 1,600,” says Anne. Eight of those are on the Johnson City Art Walk, held on the last Saturday of every month except December, and all within a three block radius. “The art walk does help business. Visitors meet with our artists, and it’s a social event for area residents who are looking for art.” Check out the excellent art walk video on www.texcetera.net.
Artist Stan Allen, owner of Bent Tree Gallery in Wimberley, recalls the humble beginnings of the Wimberley Second Saturday Gallery Trail. “In 2008 we put up a sign at the Wimberley Café that said our gallery would have wine and goodies and music. We’ve been doing it ever since.” The Gallery Trail itself, he says, “has been going on for about five years.” The event really took off when the Wimberley Valley Arts and Cultural Alliance (WVACA) got involved and organized it into what it is today. Art and artists abound in these parts: The Wimberley Valley Art League has 200 members. “We are definitely an arts destination,” says Allen. “San Antonio and Houston are our two best markets.”
Along with the wildflowers, Hill Country art walks are in full bloom. But these artistic treasures last year-round.
Second Saturday Art Beat is the new name of the longtime Second Saturday Art and Wine Walk, according to Elizabeth Castle, partner artist at Carriage House Gallery of Artists, one of two participating Art Beat stops along with Gallery 195. Both are at the corner of Main Street and Rosewood, and Castle hopes that more galleries will participate as the rebranding effort grows. Complimentary wine, hors d’oeuvres and live music, 4:00-8:00pm. For more information: www.carriagehousegallerytx.com/second-saturday-art-beat, 830-248-1184.
First Friday Art Walk features about 10 to 12 galleries, many of them housed in renovated historic buildings and six of those in a two-block downtown radius. Some galleries host artist visits and demonstrations throughout the weekend. Look for participating galleries flying the Art Walk Flag. Special events and complimentary local refreshments, 5-8pm. For more information: First Friday Art Walk Fredericksburg on Facebook.
The Johnson City Art Walk is the last Saturday of every month except December. Enjoy the celebration of art and artists at eight diverse participating galleries within easy walking distance in beautiful downtown Johnson City. Special events and complimentary refreshments, 4:00-8:00pm. For more information: www.artjc.org includes links to the eight galleries, 830.868.7684 and Facebook @JohnsonCityTexas.
The original Downtown Gallery Night has evolved into Third Thursday Downtown Walkabout, where art galleries share the spotlight with a variety of downtown merchants to celebrate the local creative community with special offers and live entertainment, 6:00-9:00pm. San Marcos also offers two DIY self-guided tours of public art: The Mermaid March public art project, and San Marcos Mural Arts program. Maps and brochures can be downloaded and are available at the San Marcos Tourist Information Center. For more information: www.toursanmarcos.com, 512.393.5930 and Facebook @TourSanMarcos.
The Second Saturday Gallery Trail connects up to ten participating galleries in and around Wimberley featuring a range of fine art from local and national artists. Complimentary wine, light bites and live music, 4:00-7:00pm. Trail maps can be picked up at any of the participating galleries. For more information: www.gallerytrail.com and Facebook @SecondSaturdayGalleryTrail.