Fairhope hosts free artwalk downtown


Folks from across the area looking for something to do flocked to downtown Fairhope for the 11th Annual First Friday Art Walk.

Crowds turned out all over downtown at 6 p. m. and many started at the Eastern Shore Art Center where a little wine, refreshments and art went a long way.

Kate Fisher says the event was created with the intention of bringing the community together and has continued to get bigger every year.

“It brings everybody out. Downtown is alive with pedestrians and bands. It’s a wonderful time to showcase all avenues of arts,” said Fisher.

Between twenty and thirty venues took part and welcomed visitors with art exhibits of all kinds.

Kathy Sheppard’s artwork is shown in the Eastern Shore Art Center. She says it’s a huge night for local artists.

“It gets your name out there. You usually make a few sales but it’s the recognition that’s so important,” Sheppard said.

It means a lot to the owners as well.

Mike Lyons owns Lyons Share Gallery. He says it’s the biggest night of the month.

“We may not make the money tonight but the rest of the days this month we could see it. We have Valentine’s Day and Mardi Gras coming up,” said Lyons, “So the wives are punching the husbands saying ‘I like that’. So you never know when someone’s gonna come back. It lasts the whole month.”

John and Mary Anne Beauchamp says they look forward to it every time they visit the area from Michigan.

“Every time we come here, we can’t miss the Art Walk. We have to mark it as an event. I enjoy it alot. The people are very friendly and the art work is beautiful,” Mary Anne Beauchamp said.

Wade Peryer, owner of the restaurant Locals, says its a huge part of supporting the local economy.

“It gives the economy a much needed boost for everyone. Coming after the cold weather, its nice to see people get out. It’s a wonderful thing,” said Peryer.

The following is a list of all Art Walks scheduled for this upcoming year:
• Friday, March 1, 2013
• Friday, April 5, 2013
• Friday, May 3, 2013
• Friday, June 7, 2013
• Friday, July 5, 2013
• Friday, August 2, 2013
• Friday, September 6, 2013
• Friday, October 4, 2013
• Friday, November 1, 2013
• December – No Artwalk
You can contact the Eastern Shore Art Center for more information on the Art Walk or other activities.

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