ArtWalk Ventura is a popular art event for many people, and it is in the process of becoming more popular every year. Rapid development of new artistic elements and a surge in artist participation have brought the ArtWalk a reputation as Ventura County’s artistic hidden gem. And there’s the city’s own appeal, with its ever-evolving bohemian enclave, alluring surf culture and proactive creative advocacy. Over the years, the ArtWalk Ventura has consistently increased its appeal with local art lovers and national and international patrons alike.
This year Ventura’s Westside cultural district has staged another two-day, self-guided tour at dozens of participating galleries, vintage and antique stores and restaurants. The event will be thick with more than 700 participating artists showcasing artwork in metal, ceramic, painting, metalwork, photography and more.
Sure to generate a “wow” reaction is the performance lineup at Mission Park featuring a choreographed show à la Cirque du Soleil by AIRealistic Circus that will involve the suspending of dancers from trees against a backdrop of projected imagery of historical masterpieces. Also performing will be noted 16-string harpist Xocoyotzin Moraza as well as Rey Fresco who will close the first night with an eclectic mix of rock, reggae and soul music.
The Potters’ Guild will fire up the various pots for the Bowl Hop Project Understanding fundraiser that allows participants to purchase a beautifully handcrafted bowl for $25. In return, they will receive a punch card to “hop” around Ventura restaurants for cuisine samples.
PODS® storage containers will once again be transformed into galleries by local artists. PODS are uniquely designed by participating artists and placed throughout Downtown and Ventura’s west end.
A free shuttle service will provide connecting services along Ventura Avenue and Main Street.
“Lucky Strike” at StoneWorks studios on Ventura Avenue is worth checking out. The art display will showcase one-of-a-kind art pieces made with recycled bowling balls. A few blocks north, the Bell Arts Factory will host a street fair, featuring live music, food and a beer and wine garden. Working Artists Ventura (WĀV) will present a block-long installation making use of its 35,000-cubic-foot gallery and surrounding architectural elements. Expanding the public art culture of Ventura, the city offers a map with destinations to the many public art installations and murals around town.
In short, there’s more to this year’s ArtWalk than ever before: it’s not all about painters and sculptors. It’s a new mix of design, photography, music, theatre, dance, architecture, performance, all designed for an equally eclectic audience.
ArtWalk Ventura, Saturday and Sunday, July 18-19. For a schedule and details, visit artwalkventura.org or facebook.com/ArtWalkVentura.