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Woodland’s First Friday Art Walk

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Don’t forget about First Friday Art Walk tomorrow night, June 3rd.  Al Eby, from Blue Wing Gallery & Framing, kindly answered questions about the Art Walk, an event that is very close to his heart.  The origins of the Art Walk began with Al, his wife Sandy and friend Clare Bailey almost 10 years ago.  It’s grown into a true community event, with many volunteers, businesses, and associations working together for our benefit.  What I love most about this event is watching people stroll down Main Street talking, laughing, and enjoying themselves (plus some venues have snacks and drinks!).  Come down and enjoy it!

Event Summary
What:
First Friday Art Walk
When: First Friday of Every Month, except January 5:30 pm – 9:00 pm
Where: Downtown Woodland, various businesses
List of venues | See the map below

What’s your name and what’s your business?
We are Al Eby and Sandy Amaro. We own Blue Wing Art Gallery & Framing, 405 Main Street.

What is the First Friday Art Walk?
Woodland’s First Friday Art Walk is designed to support a strong artistic and cultural environment through the promotion of the Arts.  Managed in collaboration with participating businesses, restaurants, and galleries, the Art Walk is a free event that gives an opportunity for talented Artists to exhibit and promote their work. We are also proud to be working with the Daily Democrat in publishing the monthly listings each First Friday.

Dumb question, I know…when is it held?
Duh, First Friday of the month!   LOL, except for the month of January, when the event takes a break.  Blue Wing Gallery also takes July off for a break.

10750326_10152867318795977_9155166763720993210_oWhere is it located?
Mostly Historic Woodland Downtown.  There have been a few businesses in the past that have showcased art outside of the immediate downtown area.  Which is fantastic, we would love to see more of that!

When was the first Art Walk held?   How has it changed since the event started?
The first Art Walk was held August 4, 2006. This August will be the 10 year anniversary.  How’s that for creating a successful Woodland event!  Our goal was to provide the community with a chance to not only see a variety of ever changing local art but also meet the artists who create it.  It was a short time later that the Historic Woodland Downtown Business Association (HWDBA) teamed up to support the First Friday Art Walks.  Additionally Yolo Arts, a non-profit organization that promotes the art of Yolo County  area, also plays a role in the promoting of the First Friday Art Walks.

Stores like Sweet Potato Pie, Corner Drug, Main Street Music Center, Kevin Cowan Financial Services, K&M Floral –Interior Plant Designs, and Farmers Insurance are consistently showing art during the Walk.  Restaurants like Savory Cafe, Black Pine Catering & Events,  Mojos/Kitchen428, Blue Note Brewing Company, Uvaggio Wine Bar and galleries like Poppies Gallery and Gallery 625 all serve as venues as well.

What has your involvement been since the beginning?
Sandy, Clare Bailey, and I created the First Friday Art Walk. The very first Friday Art Walk was held at Blue Wing and we were the only venue showing art.  As people came in they asked if we had a map of the other galleries or businesses with artwork. We replied sorry we are the only gallery. Some were taken back by that answer. My response was someone had to start it!  For three months we were the only gallery and then Studio Artist Gallery on Lincoln (where the new courthouse is now) and Gallery 625 on Court Street joined the Art Walk.  Since then, it has grown with more businesses participating as venues.

How is it coordinated now?
HWDBA, specifically Kristina Fong of Yolo Eats/Black Pine Catering has been a very strong advocate of the First Friday Art Walk.  She also focuses on bringing music to Downtown. If you are interested in participating in Woodland First Friday Art Walk please  email us at artshow@bluewinggallery.com.

If I’m a first time Art Walk walker, what can I expect?
Every art walk is unique because the artist’s work is something different or something they’ve never shown the public.  There is always something different and unique when you are looking at art. It’s a change to meet up with friends and family or sometimes friends you have not seen in a long time! Many people tell us they meet up with friends, family and just make it a night out and along the way they meet up with other friends. Before they know it they are a group of 8-10! Don’t forget that some of our venues have live music and sometimes they play Main Street’s sidewalk.

What’s the best way to experience the Art Walk?
Head downtown to Blue Wing Art Gallery at 6pm and pick up an Art Walk postcard.  It lists the participating galleries, businesses, and restaurants. You can also learn more by going to downtownwoodland.org or visitwoodland.com (yay! – Kelly) and there are links that will guide you to the map as well.

What do you want Woodland to know about the First Friday Art Walk?
Our downtown comes alive with the vibrant, passionate culture of its residents for this free, self-guided tour through art studios, businesses, and galleries located in historic downtown Woodland. It was created to promote the City’s flourishing art scene.  The event has become a popular attraction for both the community and visitors alike as a way to come together and revel in their shared passion for the Arts.  Plus, it’s a great chance to discover new businesses and eateries.  We started this almost 10 years ago with a tagline “Art Builds a Community” and Woodland has certainly proven that. Please bring the family and stop in and say hi, we would love to meet you.

June 2016 Art Walk Front_06010150

Art-Walk-MapHeader and map provided by downtownwoodland.org
All Photos by Al Eby