SANFORD ART WALK: Event showcases downtown’s tastes, sights and sounds

Apr. 12, 2014 @ 08:02 PM

It was a beautiful day as people sauntered around downtown, sipping wine, looking at pottery and paintings or catching one of the several concerts during Saturday’s seventh annual Sanford Art Walk.

Hosted by Temple Theatre and Downtown Sanford Inc., the art walk is billed as a way to get people out to local businesses, show off the artistic and musical talents of locals and simply have a fun weekend afternoon. In the run-up to this year’s event, organizers said they expected more than 300 people to attend and make this the biggest ever.

By noon, about an hour in, the crowds were still somewhat sparse. But Chris deLambert, Temple Theatre’s marketing director, said he thought the afternoon would bring more. And even if not, he said, he’d still deem it a success.

“Even if we do the same as last year, around 145 (tickets sold), it’ll still have been good for downtown businesses,” he said.

Laura Younger, treasurer of the Lee County Arts Council, was manning that group’s headquarters and said she thinks the Art Walk, as well as the newly revitalized Second Sunday downtown gatherings, have been good for the Arts Council as well as local businesses.

“We had people in the hallway mingling, looking at art, and there was even a break dancer,” she said of last month’s Second Sunday. This month’s will be held today and, unlike the Art Walk, will be free (but won’t include wine). But there will be music, food and vendors in addition to the downtown businesses which will be open.

On Saturday, as the Temple Teens vied for attention outside The Red Sofa with bluegrass band Roger Hester and the High Countrymen playing in Depot Park, people strolled from business to business or stopped at the sidewalk booths — such as the Dandalia Bakery and Coffeehouse booth selling gourmet cupcakes, or the Raleigh-based Artspace tent where artists made pottery and told visitors about the show they plan to open this summer in downtown Sanford.

“We’re looking for a space here for a pop-up installation in June and maybe July,” said Shannon Newby, one of the artists.

Their exhibit, called “Conjunction,” will use video clips along with woven or molded newspapers — and of course clay, for Brick City — to examine issues surrounding communication, she and her fellow artists Jaclyn Bowie and Gabrielle Duggan said. It’s being co-sponsored by the Lee County Arts Council.