Crossroads residents soon will get the chance to hop on a trolley, listen to live music, enjoy refreshments and discover new art in downtown Victoria.
About 30 artists will set up shop with over 100 works of art in more than a dozen downtown venues for the Downtown Victoria Art Walk sponsored by the Victoria Main Street Program 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. June 4.
“Such events have been successful with other main streets across the state in driving foot traffic and business into downtown,” said Danielle Williams, executive director of the Victoria Main Street Program. “We want to recognize the creative work of local artists, activate downtown after hours and create more business for the businesses. We hope it takes flight, so we can do this quarterly.”
The Art Walk is an expanded version of the First Friday Pop-up Art Exhibits that have been hosted downtown by Moonshine Drinkery a handful of times. Each time, the response to the pop-up events has been stronger, Williams said.
“We are seeing a lot of new faces, which is nice,” said Genevieve Robles, hospitality manager for Moonshine Drinkery.
Robles, Josh Vega with Free Art Victoria, and Claire Santellana, president of the Victoria Art League, helped recruit artists for the Art Walk.
“We want to build an arts and entertainment district downtown, and this is a great start to that,” said Robles, who sits on the Victoria Main Street Program board. “We have great museums downtown — Five Points and the Nave — and this will open up more places for artists to feature their art. We want to liven up and revitalize downtown and bring some happenings down here. ”
Most of the locations will host an artist or multiple artists who will have their work on display and, in most cases, their art will be for sale. One trolley and one shuttle will transport guests from location to location thanks to Joel Novosad with the Victoria Convention and Visitors Bureau. Guests can start anywhere along the route and hop on the shuttle or trolley, or walk or drive from one location to the next.
Guests also will enjoy refreshments and live music at the various stops.
Stops on the Art Walk will include the Welder Center for the Performing Arts, Chesnick Furniture, Texian Books, Bethune & Son, Inn on Main, Moonshine Drinkery, Peaches and Tortilla, Vela Farms, the Nave Museum, Five Points Museum of Contemporary Art, the Victoria Art League and Soiree, among others. Soiree, 212 S. Main Street, will serve as the event headquarters.
One of the stops, the Nave Museum, will feature a new art exhibit without the artists, but there will be live music and refreshments. The Art Walk will help kick off the exhibit, “Leaving the Past Behind and Moving Forward Together,” by Elaine Rose Lanoue and Guiteau Lanoue. Mark Patrick McFail will be performing delta blues and folk music from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.
The Art League embraced the idea for the Art Walk because its mission is to provide adults and children with opportunities for creation, exhibition, education and appreciation of the visual arts. During the Art Walk, the Art League of Victoria will host featured artist Richie Vios, while members of the league will showcase their artwork on the surrounding walls and the students’ artwork will be on display in the classroom.
“My motivation when I went to Danielle (about the Art Walk) was to bring arts culture to Victoria. There are art walks in lots of cities. Coming from a bigger city, I want my kids to experience a wide variety of art. I want to let the citizens of Victoria experience different art styles and allow the artists to have the opportunity to market what they do, share their passion and also recover from how hard they were hit by COVID,” Santellana said.