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Art Walk going down in Downtown Valdosta

Throughout the year, the City Center Art District brings Valdosta’s community together through the Downtown Valdosta Art Walk.

The Art Walk draws attention to the Art District by promoting an art-centered community and increasing exposure and revenue for local businesses.

While the kickoff for this year was initially scheduled for March 15, inclement weather moved the date to March 22. The Art Walk returned on May 17 and will pick up again on August 16 and October 18.

The event includes live music, artists and culinary demos, pop-up shops, DIY exhibits and much more. Some participating businesses include Artist on Ashley, Art & Soul, Cottonwood Market, 306 North and Flower Gallery.

The Art Walk is just one of the many events currently scheduled in the City Center Art District, starting with First Friday, which is held every first Friday of the month. Supported by local businesses, First Fridays celebrate downtown Valdosta and the arts with live music, food, art and shopping.

The First Friday in June unveiled artwork by the Downtown Valdosta Mural Project winner and VSU alumna Janice Rago. The Public Art Advisory hosted the contest for the Downtown Valdosta Mural Project in April and selected Rago as the muralist in May. The mural, which features azaleas, is now on display at the corner of Ashley Street and Central Avenue.

“We had 28 submissions for the contest, and all the contestants were from the Valdosta area or [had] ties to the area,” Rachel Thrasher, Valdosta Main Street program coordinator, said.

10,000 Picture Frames also announced an art contest in April and chose a winner in May. Jay Blanton’s aerial shot of downtown Valdosta will soon be displayed on a 40-inch by 80-inch removable vertical canvas on the back side of 10,000 Picture Frames, facing the Toombs Street parking lot.

“I’ve been working with a lot of local artists for several years now and trying to get them out there, and this is the biggest thing I can do to get people to notice,” Melanie McGinnis, 10,000 Picture Frames owner, said.

Similar to Art Walk, Makers Market, another event held in Downtown Valdosta on every second Saturday of the month, includes art, crafts, food, produce and more by local artisans, growers and farmers.

These events aim to increase exposure and revenue for the downtown area, local businesses and the Arts District by drawing more support for the local community and promoting a quality of life through the arts.

“We really are one community […] it’s such a new energy in the arts district, and I think it’s fabulous people are catching that energy or feeling that energy and want to be a part of it,” said Sementha Mathews, Annette Howell Turner Center for the Arts executive director.

Written by Della Gladieux, Independent Writer. Photo Courtesy of Pexel.

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