Shoppers and tourists along Main Street got some extra help in making their buying decisions this weekend as dozens of area artists were on hand to explain their creations.
Mount Airy Downtown Inc., the Downtown Business Association and the Surry Arts Council put together the Fall Art Walk Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. According to Mount Airy Downtown, about 60 artists were spread around 40 venues in the Historic Downtown District.
The way the event was set up, there was no cost either to the local businesses or the artists to participate, according to Mount Airy Downtown. Organizers were asking that businesses help keep a running tab of the artists’ sales so that Downtown Mount Airy can tabulate a grand total later.
Some of the artists and shops gravitated toward what made sense. Artist Doug Cave has several framed pieces of art on the wall in Talley’s Custom Frame & Gallery, so it made sense for him to set up shop in the business for the day. Local author Tom Perry went where the books were, planting a display at the entrance to Pages Book Store.
Cave said he started painting about 35 years ago when he was in his 20s. Looking around Talley’s he guessed he had about 40 original pieces as well as some prints on display.
Perry said he has worked on many projects over the years, so he brought more than 100 books to the Art Walk. That broke down to about 50 books, all with at least two copies each, with a few more copies for the ones with a local slant.
Elkin artist Geoffrey Walker displayed his drawings along the wall at the gazebo on the corner of Main and Oak streets. He had about 35 pieces on display. The temperature was perfect, but with the occasional gusts, he was working to keep his illustrations anchored.
“I like creating,” said Walker. “All the different values you can express.” An artist can use any medium to express emotions or opinions.
Allison Chattin, a Pilot Mountain artist, pointed at one of her sketches.
“At the beginning of this, that was a blank piece of paper, and to create something from nothing is pretty cool,” she said.
Sitting nearby, Lisa Downing, of Lowgap, showed a photo of her marching down Main Street in a parade last year with a cow. Surrounding that photo were several small metal cows. Downing said this was an original design in stainless steel.
Layne Roundy, also of the Lowgap area, displayed several digital art pieces that looked like still frames from an animated movie.
“Did you draw these?” asked a curious passerby.
“I did them on my tablet,” Roundy replied, touching the pad in front of her.
The woman asked her if she used one of those drawing pencils.
Roundy said she sometimes used a stylus, but a lot of the time she just liked using her fingertips.
She said she had been drawing as long as she can remember. She had always been self-taught until recently deciding to try some drawing classes to see if she could improve her growing skills.
Such interactions with the public are exactly what organizers had in mind when planning the Art Walk, now in its fifth year. The city also hosted the Spring Art Walk on April 15.
Reach Jeff at 415-4692.