‘When you can’t walk — crawl’ : Pittsburg gears up for a different type of ArtWalk

Jordan Meier
Morning Sun
What downtown normally looks like during the ArtWalk. Photo taken during event in fall of 2019.

PITTSBURG, Kan. — Twice in a typical year, Pittsburg is transformed as artists take over the town for the annual ArtWalk. A festival-like aura blankets the downtown as local vendors, live music and most importantly artists gather to celebrate the talented creators of southeast Kansas.  

Sadly COVID-19 has prevented the ArtWalk from happening in full force, but that hasn’t stopped the committee that plans it from finding ways to still celebrate local art. In late 2020, they held a virtual ArtWalk and this year, they have created the ArtCrawl.  

“As you know, the spring ArtWalk has been canceled due to impending state Covid-19 restrictions,” the Facebook post about the event reads.  “However, the ArtWalk Committee has come up with a way for Pittsburg to get their art fix and help promote local businesses. We are calling it The ArtCrawl.” 

This year instead of the usual festival, from May 1 to May 8 businesses around Pittsburg will be showcasing local artists’ work so that citizens can wander and admire local artworks from oil paintings and photography, to clay work, digital work and so much more.  

“We believe that having this week-long event will reduce large crowds from gathering on one day at one location to help prevent the spread of Covid-19,” the Facebook post said.  

The ArtWalk committee is very excited about the event, although Treasurer Antjea Wolff does admit she will miss the festival atmosphere again this year.  

“I wish we were able to have the full regular ArtWalk because I miss the energy around the in-person event,” she said.  

Wolff, who will have some of her own work displayed at The Game Shoppe, said locals are encouraged to visit local shops over the next week and admire the works of art, adding that some businesses will have QR codes that people can scan to hear music from local bands.  

“I'm looking forward to seeing more art out in the wild and seeing people supporting others,” she said.  

The following businesses will have art on display over the next week. Listed next to them is the artist(s) whose work will be on display:  

  • Signet Coffee Roasters: MadPhotoss by Maddie Domnick  
  • Momentum Chiropractic: Luminous Essence by Alissa Rogge 
  • Miners and Monroe: The Fire Within by Rebecca Hopper 
  • Toast: work by Sylvia Grotheer 
  • Main Street Axe Company: work by Brett Dalton 
  • Kansas Teachers Commerce: CharlieZimmsArt by Carollea Zimmerman 
  • Books and Burrow: Sarah Prince and Sullivan Book Arts by Olive Sullivan  
  • Audacious Boutique: Creative Moments by Taylor Burris 
  • Eclectic Soul Studio: Childers Art Studio by Allen Childers 
  • Lucy’s: work by Shay Masters 
  • The Pitt: Jared Cox and Creative Side Art by Morgan Strait  
  • Wax: Mindy K Illustrations  
  • Sign Brothers: Sam Clausen, Codi Fox, Lynn Meredith and Crista Cunningham Designs  
  • The Finishing Touch: Skip Smith  
  • ArtForms Gallery: Justin Brown, Kyle Carr, Daria Claiborne and many others 
  • The Doggie Bag Resale Shop: Matt Pendergrass 
  • Pittsburg Ballet: Joey Pogue 
  • Jones Heritage Realtors: Lisa Williams 
  • The Game Shoppe: Jea’s Chaos by Antjea Wolff 
  • Gorilla Country: Michaele Fienen  
  • Fun Depot: Girard High School  
  • The Meat Shed: Quirky WoodworKS 
  • Wolf & Baker: HippyClay  

More information about the event can be found on Facebook or on the ArtWalk’s website. The full in-person ArtWalk will return in the fall on Sept. 24.  

Jordan Meier is a staff writer for the Morning Sun. She can be reached at jmeier@morningsun.net