Saturday, March 6, 2010

OC's newest Art Walk debuts in Fullerton

This Art Walk thing is really taking hold in the OC, and the latest entrant is downtown Fullerton. Though Fullerton isn't exactly overflowing with art galleries, Art Walk organizers (including Graves Gallery owner Gary Graves) assembled 15 venues to participate in its debut last night. (My apologies to all since my Spark-e! newsletter on Wednesday said the Art Walk was on Saturday, rather than Friday.)

By the time I got there around 7:30 p.m., I'd have to say there were at least 100 people wandering the tree-lined four-block stretch of Fullerton's lovingly restored downtown, and while I didn't make it to every venue, there were three galleries that impressed me with the quality of the work exhibited and the seriousness of their commitment to being showcases for talent.

Hibbleton Gallery is a tiny space and was packed with young people browsing CD jewel-case sized art by a smattering of artists in an exhibit ending March 7 called "Shuffle." Their next exhibition, "About Face," begins March 12. DJs were spinning music to underscore the theme.
While Graves Gallery's featured exhibit was "Belles of the Ball," oil paintings and other renderings of sportswomen in action by Claudi Kilby (the work was quite good), a number of other artists' works also were on display, including striking jewelry by Gary Graves. By the way, the gallery also doubles as the office for his communications business. When I arrived, there was a rock band playing in the gallery, the wine was flowing and there was a robust crowd (photo above right).

An unusual space, PAS (projectartschool), had an imaginative exhibition theme, titled "The Box: Perspectives on Living Outside," and all the name plates were hand written on pieces of corrugated cardboard describing the works that shared sometimes unique perspectives on homelessness. Their opening libations took it a step further, with a ministry called Breakfast With Jesus, serving pancakes & eggs (photo of a work at PAS, above left).
Not all of the venues are galleries, and including them in an Art Walk may be a bit of a stretch--they included retail shops, hair salons and a tea lounge--all of which displayed art, however. And not all of the wanderers on the streets were participating in the Art Walk, either--this area of downtown Fullerton is teeming with restaurants and bars, from casual to upscale. Still, that makes it an all-the-more-attractive place for an Art Walk. After all, food and art go well together.
Kudos to the organizers and may they enjoy much success.

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