Grants Pass Art Walk - 2002

Posted by Evan LaVere on Saturday, January 17, 2015

Grants Pass Art Walk

Nov. 1-02


            First Friday Art Walk. Generally an activity that is associated with browsing over art (interesting or no) in a bustling social pool. Usually this environment is key to (at least my) enjoyment and responsiveness to the night’s artistic offerings…

            We’ll come back to environment in a few minutes (or rather, sentences), but I want to advocate the idea that I am a frequent “Art Walker”. I really and honestly enjoy the activity, and I often do it whenever I happen to have the free time, class project or not. Thusly, having already made my own route, I usually have an idea about which displays will hold my attention and which will be easily forgotten. This does not mean, however, that I do not wander from my path frequently, in order to pursue new ideas.

            But I think (considering the title), walking would play an important role in the night’s events. Wandering from shop to shop, picking up refreshments, etc.. To provide a break in the onslaught of art, in order to analyze and break down the sights and sounds.

            Now back to the environment. The art walk is generally most enjoyable when in the fresh, airy nights of summer; back dropped against a warm setting sun, when walking may be employed comfortably. As opposed to a moonless 22 degree November evening, that seemed to cry “SUFFER THE ART WALKERS!!!”. That may be dramatic but it

Seems sensible when you can’t feel your nose. It was in this cold shivering state that a hypothesis came to me.

  It is commonly accepted that icicles on one’s nose generally hinders one’s ability to analyze/ enjoy art.

 It is also commonly accepted that the above stated is bull sh*t. But we will now move on to other topics.

But it was not just the weather that seemed to suck any amount of enjoyment from the evening; it was accompanied by a horribly drab selection of art. I was not impressed (in the direction of good, bad, or ugly) by a single piece of art that night. The patterns of spilled popcorn from Blind George’s seemed more interesting, or at least equally inspired. Every display seemed to be drowning in an unfortunate trend of monotony.

  Nothing stuck my eye.

  Nothing grabbed my attention.

 What small number of people were involved in the art walk seemed unenthused.

Even my usual safe haven for creativity (the small shop known as Toadstool, which features many top talent artists) was marred by despicably bland imitations of Georgia O’Keefe’s in depth flower studies. Okay, so they were cleverly disguised in oil paint, sorry.

It saddened me further to see that the “on the brink” art previously featured there had been removed.

My yearning eyes sank with the burden of  boredom. The worst possible insult to my already injured expectations, and my search for inspiration: an elusive spark typically lit to full flame on a good art walk. 

As I was leaving Toadstool’s, I became keenly aware that this art walk had become a disfigured replica of what it had once been. Or was it just the weather?

I could only hope.

 Where were the people?

 Where was the (sad to say) ART?

            I slowly decided that this nights activities had either burnt out, or never been lit, and probably would not be lit before my window of opportunity would shut dramatically.

  The present art walk had a definite lack of emotion, art, and inspiration. The specific key elements which constitute the art walk, and what motivates us to go out and enjoy the night.

  Maybe it was the cold.

  Maybe it was a dry spell for artists.

  Maybe it was the change in ownership at the Laughing Clam.

  Maybe it’s time for innovation. 

Either way, as I pushed my way into the sub-freezing temperatures, and felt the any remnants of heat I hoped to sustain drift with the fleeting memories of previous art walks, a new hypothesis came to mind:

It is commonly accepted that icicles on one’s nose hinder one’s ability to create art.

Tags: "grants pass" "evan lavere" "art walk" writing