It's something many in Jacksonville look forward to on the first Wednesday of every month; Art Walk in downtown Jacksonville. Next Wednesday, Art Walk will celebrate 10 years of bringing artists, music, food and people together rain or shine.
6,000 people on average enjoy Art Walk from 5 to 9 pm the First Wednesday of every month rain or shine. It's a self-guided tour through 40 plus venues in Downtown Jacksonville and features hundreds of artists.
Art Walk began in 2003 and the theme this month is “Cheers to 10 Years.”
Kathrine Hardwick, with Downtown Vision Incorporated says, "It started as a way to bring people downtown and really to support the business that have invested in downtown. It started with eight locations from MOCA Jacksonville, the Museum of Contemporary Art all the way down to The Landing we had a few vendors peppered in between a couple dozen artists a few hundred people. Today it's grown to be about 52 venues we have 6,000 to 8,000 people that come each month rain or shine and it's just been going on ten years straight every month it's been wonderful."
Hardwick says the founders of Art Walk never imagined it would still be going strong ten years later. To celebrate organizers are planning a block party on Laura Street between the Main Library and Hemming Plaza. There will also be spoken word, live jazz music by the Episcopal High School Jazz Band, an art unveiling and a champagne toast.
Hardwick says the events success is in part due to the countless artists they work with, like Mark Zimmerman, and Episcopal High School Teacher who also works with the group The Temporary Solution. He says he is drawn to the event because of the people.
"A lot of the work that I make with my art collector The Temporary Solution is meant to get out in front of the people and the public and have an audience. And that's so great about what I'm doing now with DVI (Downtown Vision Incorporated) is they're giving me that platform to provide art pieces that can inspire other people to become the artist.
The Art Walk event map along with other information is available online at: iloveartwalk.com and at all participating locations.