By Kellen M. Quigley
For one night each year, Main Street in Springville transforms into a sprawling art gallery with musicians and artwork tucked into little niches and alcoves. People of all ages and stripes walk the village during what has become known as the Art Crawl.
This free event is fun for the whole family and takes place Saturday, May 4 from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Encorus Group, Fresh Floral & Gifts and Dilly Dallies Spices & Sauces will award prizes to the top three artists at 8:30 at a free party and ceremony open to the public.
“There is some outstanding outwork and it’ll be great fun to see all the different approaches by area artists,” said Seth Wochensky, director of the Springville Center for the Arts. “I think it’s shaping up to be a great night.”
The artwork is displayed in everyday spaces, nestled in businesses from North Buffalo Street to Franklin Street in Springville’s Historic District. The work includes watercolor, photography, acrylic and sculpture from over forty artists from across Western New York that were juried to exhibit.
Participating artists include Judson Brown, John Merlino, Cathy Merlino, Linda Hall, Damon Hudac, Tom Militello, Loreen Butcher, Pamela Dennies, Christie McNee Geiger, Jon Horton, Nathan Dash, Dave Jeffers, Kathleen Pisaro, Paul Brinkworth, Stacey Lechevet, Judy Wright and more. Most of the pieces are available for purchase.
“The thing is to promote artists and artwork as part of our everyday lives,” Wochensky said. “Artwork should be integrated into our community. This is a special focus, but we hope people will appreciate seeing art or music in everyday space and continue to develop more of an appreciation of it.”
While enjoying the quaint village setting and the architecture of Springville’s Main Street, you will find musicians playing inside and out of the businesses.
“We’ve have some cool music this year and the weather, last I checked, was going to be good,” Wochensky said. “It gives everybody a chance — a broad cross section of people — to come downtown, meet old friends and see new spaces.”
Musicians include Hintz of Thunder, Porcelain Train, Lost Boy, Phil Elinski, Partners in Time, Jim Brucato, Nick Kody & Lydia Herren, Cattaraugus Creek, House of Kings, Rabbit Hole Trio, Tuesday Night Strings and Brady, Palys and Bahn.
New this year are art demonstrations beginning at 4 p.m. Arrive early for free one-on-one time with an artist.
“Once of the differences this year is we closed Mechanic Street and we have the artist demonstrations happening, and there will be a bunch of cool things,” Wochensky said. “It adds a whole other dynamic to the event. … Anybody can come up, get some hands-on time and see what local artists are doing.”
Glass artist Tom Militello will be premiering his new mobile studio with live demonstrations of glass shaping. Mary Ann Fritz and Kari Roslund will share fiber art techniques. Join Judson Brown and Paulette Rozwood as they paint “en plein air.” Necole Witcher will be demonstrating the art of gold leaf illumination.
Later that evening more activities begin with rSpace Yoga and Wellness Studio will be leading “Paint your Practice” sessions. Contact rSpace for registration at 440-6081. Toäd Meadow and Addictions “Untitled”; A Project of Hope will be setting up art installations.
As in past years, there will be a kids’ art space at Arts Underground, 66 East Main St.
To do the “Crawl,” begin at the tent located at the corner of Main and Mechanic streets and pick up a map of the participating locations. After that, stroll at your own pace and on your own path, walking from location to location.
“It’s right on track to being just as big an event as it was last year,” Wochensky said. “What’s nice about this event is it’s very casual. You get to make this event whatever you want and different people come and experience it in many different ways.”
Many businesses have light refreshments for walkers to enjoy during the event. Jake and The Fatman and MooCheesy food trucks will be set up and several area restaurants will be open.
At 8:30 p.m., end the evening at Springville Center for the Arts, located at 37 North Buffalo St., for the After Party.
The Olmsted Gallery inside the center will feature local artist and art collector Bruce Allen Blair’s collection of WNY Artists. Blair will be meeting visitors and giving tours of his exhibit. During the after-party, guests can enjoy free refreshments and prizes will be awarded.
“We want to do whatever we can do support downtown businesses and promote the downtown area of the village of Springville,” Wochensky said. “This event is a great way to reconnect with people, see people, get out there and get a sense of community.”
The jurors for this year’s Art Crawl are Sean Witucki, Nila Griffis Lampman and Donna Jordan Dusel.
For more information, visit Crawl.SpringvilleArts.org or call 592-9038.