First-ever art walk aims to showcase local artists
Situated between Stone Avenue and Sixth Street, Toole Avenue is home to numerous warehouses and galleries sheltering the creativity of seasoned artists. This Saturday, the Warehouse Arts Management Organization aims to bring attention to the flowering artistic activity on Toole Avenue with the first-ever Toole Avenue Art Walk.
Marvin Shaver, chair of the organization’s arts and events committee, said the Tucson community may have the impression that Toole Avenue is lined with empty and abandoned warehouses, but in actuality, it’s occupied by a strong artistic community.
“This is a way to make people aware of the artistic activity on Toole Avenue and in the Historic Warehouse Arts District,” Shaver said.
Although this is the first Toole Avenue Art Walk Tucson has ever seen, Shaver added, his organization is looking to make the walkthrough an annual or even monthly event in the long term.
Hosting everything from dancers, skaters, musicians, art galleries and a microcinema gallery to food trucks and light shows, the free event looks to showcase the diverse Tucson community.
Among the many creative minds are local Tucson artist and curator David Sherman and his wife Rebecca Barten, who will open their microcinema gallery, called the Exploded View, to give attendees a preview of the “weird, odd, interesting, quirky” video art and films it will show throughout the fall, Sherman said.
Sherman, who is also on the events committee, said he hopes that the Tucson community will engage with this area of the Tucson Arts District.
“It’s a celebration of the creativity in Tucson,” Sherman said. “It engages culture in a slightly different way.”
Another outdoor gallery that can be found on the streets of this artistic walkabout is the Inflated Ego Gallery, crafted by local artist and UA adjunct faculty member Simon Donovan.
According to Shaver, the Inflated Ego Gallery will be an inflatable gallery entirely inspired by plastic.
“It’s kind of like a jumping castle for art,” Shaver said.
Mia Hansen, a volunteer for the event and co-founder of the Festival & Events Association of Tucson & Southern Arizona, said that many Tucsonans don’t recognize the quality of artistry on Toole Avenue. The art walk aims to bring these artists into the spotlight, she added.
“The unique thing about it is just the eclectic mixture of people found on this little avenue. The key word — ‘eclectic,’” Hansen said. “These artists are doing great work, and we’re going to highlight that.”
IF YOU GO
What: Toole Avenue Art Walk
When: Saturday, 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Where: Toole Avenue, between Sixth Street and Stone Avenue
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