17 Mar Art On Main Is Back!
That’s right, the downtown St. George gallery stroll has returned and is now a project of Arts to Zion in partnership with the St. George Streetfest first Friday events. The art walk will be held every other month during the Streetfest, beginning April 5.
Bobbi Wan-kier, executive director of Arts to Zion, says the recent move toward a more arts-centered Streetfest provided the impetus to restart the gallery stroll. She says Streetfest organizers approached the downtown galleries about being a part of the first Friday event, paving the way for the art walk to return.
“We decided it was time to bring back Art on Main,” Wan-kier says. “We’re excited to be part of the bigger first Friday event.”
Ed Tracey, director of St. George Streetfest, says he hopes Art on Main will bring awareness to and appreciation of the incredible artists who reside in Washington County.
“My goal is to make Streetfest a true music and arts festival with fine arts and crafters, local music, craft beer brews, and local wines — everything local,” he says. “Having the arts galleries participating in these events makes me happy beyond description.”
The participating galleries and other venues include:
- The DiFiore Center
- George Art Museum
- Illume Gallery of Fine Art
- Authentique Gallery of Art and Design
- The Mission Gallery
- Art and Soul Gallery & Gift
- Wide Angle Gallery
- Gallery 35
- Arrowhead Gallery ETC
Gallery strollers can look for Arts to Zion signs outside the participating galleries to guide them along their way. Patrons taking part in Art on Main are encouraged to start their exploration at the DiFiore Center or the St. George Art Museum and work their way down the hill toward the Arrowhead Gallery ETC on Tabernacle Street, an artist co-op located inside the Electric Theater Center and operated by the Southern Utah Art Guild.
Like the punch cards of past years, gallery strollers will be issued a “passport” to get validated at each gallery. It can be turned in at the end for a chance to win a piece of original art by a local artist.
The art walk will last from 5–8 p.m. on the first Friday of alternating months. This year there will be strolls on April 5, June 7, August 2, October 4 and December 6.
Arts to Zion has asked Alicia Lockwood of 6Bit Creative LLC to coordinate the Art on Main Events in conjunction with St. George Streetfest, which is now under the nonprofit umbrella of the Roene B. DiFiore Center for Arts and Education.
Lockwood says the gallery stroll will largely be patterned after its previous iteration because it worked so well. The biggest change will be the collaboration with St. George Streetfest, which will also assist Arts to Zion by bringing in performing artists to many of Art on Main stops.
“It is always encouraging when the organizations in this community can work together as it only makes our community, and the art community, stronger,” Lockwood says. “Art on Main is a way to experience art, culture, and entertainment in one evening.”
The first Art on Main event on April 5 will feature performers from Local Vocal Studios at various galleries along the gallery stroll route.
Tracey says Streetfest organizers are also hoping to use shuttles to transport fest-goers from the event along Tabernacle Street up to the DiFiore Center or the St. George Art Museum at the north end of the gallery stroll route.
“I am excited to be collaborating with St. George Streetfest and having their support,” Lockwood says. “What they are doing for the arts is fantastic.”
Lockwood says Art on Main will continue to focus on a stated mission of facilitating public interactions between local artists, arts organizations, residents and visitors while striving to help St. George grow as an arts destination.“I have always loved the idea of the Art of Main,” Lockwood says. “I love the groundwork and the history of what has been done before. I love how Art on Main provides another way to experience art and help our local art scene and artists.”
The new Art on Main is joining a recently reinvigorated Streetfest, which returned in March under Tracey’s direction. That first event on March 1 had a strong showing with more than 10,000 people attending to support its renewed focus on the creative community.
Tracey describes St. George Streetfest as an outdoor music, arts and nightlife celebration in historic downtown. It is designed to promote local artists and provide a consistent and safe gathering place for the community and tourists alike.
During the event, Tabernacle Street is closed from Main Street to 100 West for food trucks, fine arts vendors and crafters. Nearby Greengate Village is also home to the Brad Stapley Memorial Music Stage, where local musicians perform from 6 p.m. to midnight.
Ron Brown, Arts to Zion Board chairman, says he is excited to be working with Streetfest this year.
“We have taken note of the new focus that will be tailored more to people who appreciate the abundant art and culture in the St George area,” Brown says. “We are thrilled to be able to bring back the Art on Main gallery stroll to highlight the tremendous talent that we have in our community.”