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Exploring area artistic expression

Exploring area artistic expression

April 26th, 2018 by Samantha Pogue in Life & Entertainment

James Porello takes pictures of the art work hanging at Capital Arts Gallery on Missouri Boulevard in advance of the Art Around Town Gallery Crawl April 7, 2017.

Photo by Julie Smith /News Tribune.

One upcoming Jefferson City event allows the community to watch a fused glass presentation, view juried and award-winning, locally produced paintings, photographs and sculptures from professional and amateur artists, listen to live music, and relish in the editorial cartoons of yesteryear all in one evening.

It is the annual Art Around Town Art Crawl, and these happenings scrape the surface exhibits, showcases and interactive receptions offered from 4:30-8:30 p.m. Friday at eight local art galleries, all free of charge and open to the public.

What started as a way to unite art organizations and showcase their work alongside the annual Jefferson City Art Club Adult Fine Art Exhibition and Reception held each spring at Capital Arts, the event has grown in its more than five-year existence to include eight to 12 galleries.

About two months before each event, Leann Porrello, event organizer and Capital Arts executive director, contacts galleries of their participation and to let her know what they will be featuring that evening. Capital Arts creates a map and listing that highlights each location's exhibit and activities during Art Around Town.

"Everybody you see that is either doing a demo or a featured artist, they were recruited by these organizations. Not only are we sharing these artists with the community, but it allows the art organizations to connect with local talent to create these amazing art experiences," she said.

With venues like the Cole County Historical Museum and Elizabeth Rozier Gallery, Art Around Town allows the community to visit their exhibits and meet artists at a time that they might normally be closed.

"These organizations are opening up after hours and extended hours just to allow the public to come support the artists, see the artwork and interact," Porello said, noting most venues are offering live music, refreshments, demonstrations and more with each exhibit. "It is not just about going around and enjoying the art and organizations, you can meet and greet the artists at every place. If you find a piece you are really into and attached to, that artist may be there to hear that personal story."

With nine galleries, including new locations such as Avenue HQ, participating in the 2017 Art Around Town, the event saw 350 participants on average. This continually increased foot traffic and participation from new venues shows the event's success.

Follow-up surveys also show of how organizers are tweaking ways to increase foot traffic at all venues, adjust times for the best community participation, encourage more art organizations participation and expand the event even further. Porrello said this year that they are starting back having two Art Around Town art crawls each year, holding an additional event Oct. 26. Avenue HQ and Miller Performing Arts Center could not participate Friday due to prior commitments, but will be back for this second event.

"Since we are doing two, if you missed this one, you'll be able to go to the next one. No one gets left out. The more we do, the more we would love organizations to reach out to us to participate. We would love to include anything to do with art, trying to represent cultural arts as a whole," Porrello said. "With this kind of event, there is no limit. Musicians, theater groups, everyone can jump on the crawl. If they reach out to us, we'll make sure they can be a part of it."

Capital Arts provides maps well in advance of the event for the community to pick up, with each participating gallery making them available at least the night before the event. With patrons able to visit the galleries in any order, the map allows them to plan their own experience.

"The map is really helpful because you see that Capital Arts and The Art Bazaar are the farthest away from each other. If they are trying to get to all locations, look at your map and plan it out," Porrello said. "That is what's so much fun; it is a scavenger hunt of art."

Art Around Town Stops

Capital Arts Gallery, 1203 Missouri Blvd. — View the professional and amateur winning artwork in the annual Jefferson City Art Club Adult Fine Art Exhibition. Meet these local artists and enjoy refreshments during the exhibit's reception.

Elizabeth Rozier Gallery, 101 Jefferson St. — View the current exhibit, "Sketches of War the Editorial Cartoons of Daniel Fitzpatrick."

The Art Bazaar, 1502 East High St. — View the new collection of local art and meet and greet with the artists.

Missouri River Regional Library Art Gallery, 214 Adams St. — Enjoy light refreshments and view art exhibit "A Murder of Crows 630-830," meeting James, Jan, Josh and Jake Crow from 6:30-8:30 p.m.

The Village Art Studio, 1507 East McCarty St. — Watch a fused glass presentation by Andy Cleeton, an acrylic painting demonstration by Cindy Schnieders and clay projects demonstration by Ann DeRosier.

Cole County Historical Museum, 109 Madison St. — Browse the Cole County Historical Society and Museum-selected artworks, featuring Jefferson City artists Sabra Eagan.

Lincoln University's Richardson Fine Arts Center, 820 Chestnut St. — Enjoy works displayed during the annual Student Art Exhibit.

Cottonstone Art Gallery and Frame Shop, 116 E. High St. — View "River Sunrises" by Jim Dyke and listen to music by Nick Gazca.

Capital Arts, Jefferson City Art Club, Jefferson City Parks and Recreation, Cultural Arts Commission and Missouri Arts Council co-sponsor Art Around Town. For more information, call 573-635-8355 or visit www.capitalarts.org.