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Morning Sun
  • Downtown art event gaining popularity

  • Art Walk used to be a twice-a-year opportunity, but the popularity seems to be growing in correlation with the frequency of the event.

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  • Art Walk used to be a twice-a-year opportunity, but the popularity seems to be growing in correlation with the frequency of the event.
    “It used to be twice a year, but we decided to do them four times a year,” said Kris Hartley, one of several area residents who help organize the event.
    Last night’s Art Walk was the second this year, and included a Hawaii-themed scavenger hunt, several special performances, an open farmers’ market and giveaways.
    “In the windows of all the participating businesses, there’s a symbol with a meaning,” Hartley said of the scavenger hunt.
    At the end of the hunt, 100 participants received goodie bags filled with giveaways from local businesses, many of which stayed open late for the event.
    “We’ve heard of a few of them (staying open),” Hartley said. “It’s a great opportunity for them and for Pittsburg residents to learn about what’s downtown.”
    Both first-time and returning attendees enjoyed the event, which featured blocks of art, venders and entertainment in the heart of downtown on Broadway.
    “I love the Art Walk,” said Isis Ruiz.
    She said she routinely attends, but was doubting whether she had the time to do so until her friend, Ailie Foresman, invited her.
    The two said it wasn’t too tough to decide to go, and spent time chalking sidewalks at the SEK Art Fest demonstration area before enjoying the rest of the scene.
    The Pittsburg Entertainment and Artist Cooperative Endeavor (PEACE, for short) spent time teaching onlookers how to use the hula hoop, and shared tent space with a drum group, who kept up the rhythm throughout the evening.
    Member Bret Crockett said the group is for area artists and puts on workshops and events, including Art in the Park in October.
    Other artists and entertainers said the event seemed like an enjoyable time to practice their craft.
    Fayelyn Kmiec had performed in talent shows, but said she was enjoying her first street performance with her guitar, which she did with the encouragement of her mother, Royce.
    “It’s been great,” Kmiec said.
    On the other hand, Randy Zgonc has been riding his unicycle for more than 30 years and put on a show, along with Bo Zgonc.
    Anna Gudde, special events coordinator with the Pittsburg Area Chamber of Commerce, led a group from Pittsburg Area Young Professionals on a tour of the SEK Art Fest buckets, through the heart of the Art Walk.
    “A lot of folks are just learning about the businesses downtown,” Gudde said, adding that events like Friday’s are valuable for helping the community become better informed.
    Janet Bacon agreed, as she and her mother, Pat Bennett, toured the Art Walk and Art Fest, and stopped and took time to check out displays such as the photos in the old bank building.
    Page 2 of 2 - “I got interested again in what used to be in the buildings,” she said.
    Two more Art Walks will take place this season.
    The next Art Walk will take place in August and, while the date hasn’t yet been determined, the date of Aug. 21 has been set for a 5K entitled Run Your Art Out, with all proceeds benefiting the Art Walk.
    A final one will be scheduled later in the fall.

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