Hot Springs’ monthly Gallery Walk is a quarter of a century old this August, and the Central Avenue arts district is celebrating with a weekend of exhibits, demonstrations, lectures, an art auction and other activities. Much has changed physically in the 25 years on the once-seedy (but once-elegant) but now renovated historic street (former gallery owner Carolyn Taylor recalled on the 20th anniversary that she’d worked out a code with neighbor Benini to summon him if a customer looked like he might be trouble).
Now, the arts district has been embraced by the city’s Advertising and Promotion Commission (better late than never), which has advertised the city’s arts district on billboards and is planning a 2015 arts festival. A new volunteer group, the Hot Springs Cultural Alliance, headed up by Mary Neilson of the A and P, has formed to promote all cultural functions in the Spa City and hosted a Garland County studio tour in May.
Dolores Justus, whose gallery is celebrating its 10th year this year, said much is happening in Hot Springs — buildings that have been vacant for years are being acquired, for example — that promises a vibrant district to come. “Some galleries come and some go, but there’s a really strong arts community in Hot Springs and the Gallery Walk continues to be a wonderful event. It draws people from all over the region.”
Justus said that she and many gallery owners feel a commitment to the city and its gallery goers. “Once you start something like this you feel a sense of responsibility to community, whether or not it’s a good financial decision … [thinking] you can’t close now,” she said with a laugh.
Friday night’s Gallery Walk runs from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Weaver Valerie Hanks Goetz
will exhibit her horse hair and pine needle baskets and demonstrate technique at American Art Gallery, 724 Central Ave. Alison Parsons Gallery at 802 Central will open a show of paintings by Parsons, “Art and Architecture in the Spa.” Linda Shearer will show paintings and Caryl Joy Young pastels and Nina Louten will give a pottery demonstration at Artists Workshop Gallery, 610A Central Ave. Blue Moon Gallery, 718 Central, will show work by Randall Good. The Hot Springs Fine Arts Center will host a reception for its “Hot Springs Regional Art Competition” (show through Aug. 9). Gene Sparling will open his studio, Forest Path Wood Gallery at 107 Stillmeadow Lane south of Hot Springs, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Aug. 1. Gallery Central Fine Art, 800 Central Ave., will offer a wine tasting from “The Wine Rack” and preview artwork to be auctioned for Sunday’s “Paws in Prison” fundraiser. Justus Fine Art, 827 Central Ave., will celebrate its 10th anniversary with a show of work by gallery artists. Legacy Fine Art Gallery, 804 Central Ave., will have live music and interpretive painting during Gallery Walk. Linda Palmer will show her colored pencil drawings and oils as well as work by Jason Sacran and former Hot Springs artist Randy Groden. The Taylor Bellott Nature Gallery will show photographs.
On Saturday, Artists Workshop Gallery hosts a silk scarf painting demonstration by Pat Langewis from noon to 2 p.m., a guitar performance by gallery artist Terry O’Dell from 2 to 3 p.m. and a Chinese brush painting demonstration by Shearer from 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Blue Moon will host a meet and greet with artist Good from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Barbara Cade will open her Blue Rock Studio at 262 Hideaway Hills Drive to show her rock-inspired woven and felted tapestries from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Gallery Central will host a “Women’s Paint Out” by the gallery’s artists from 10 a.m. to noon and serve peach Bellinis. Justus Fine Art will host gallery talks by Steve Griffith (“Travel and Painting: Two Passions Combined”) at 11 a.m., Jennifer Lee of Jennifer Lee Fine Art (“How to Start Collecting Art”) at 1 p.m., Donnie Copeland (“Inspiration and Process”) at 2 p.m. and Dolores Justus (“Essential Elements”) at 4 p.m. Legacy Fine Art will host an art class using live models with artists Carole Katchen, Patrick Cunningham and Elizabeth Weber from 1 to 5 p.m. Palmer will host a demonstration and talk by Sacran at 2 p.m. Taylor Bellott will offer a talk, “The Creative Power of Depth of Field, Aperture and Shutter Speed” from 11 a.m. to noon.
On Sunday, O’Dell will give a demonstration on multiple image-making at 2
p.m. at Artists Workshop Gallery; Cade’s Blue Rock Studio will be open 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.; Gallery Central will hold its “Paws in Prison” fundraiser (all works to be $100, 10 percent to go Paws in Prison program); Legacy Fine Art will hold a tea, trunk show and sale from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.; Palmer will give a colored pencil demonstration and talk at 3 p.m. at her gallery, and Taylor Bellott will give a talk, “Fine Art Reproduction and Giclee Printing” at 1:30 p.m.
The artist Benini and his wife, Lorraine, who helped found the Gallery Walk, will be unable to attend, Justus said. There will also be events off Central Avenue, at Star Gallery and Emergent Arts, according to Hot Springs Hot Spots.