• November 14, 2019

FLASHBACK: Artwalk has come a long way in 20 years - Odessa American: Celinda Hawkins

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FLASHBACK: Artwalk has come a long way in 20 years

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Posted: Sunday, November 17, 2013 8:00 am

When you think about art in West Texas, instantly the Alpine Artwalk should come to mind. This is the “little art festival that could,” and this weekend, the show, which has grown exponentially over 20 years, will begin Friday and run through Saturday.

Get ready to roll and put on your traveling shoes and head to Alpine for Artwalk 2013. It will be the weekend when one block of 5th Street in downtown Alpine transforms into more of an art Mecca than it already is.

What started as a labor of love by creator, director and wearer of all hats Keri A. Blackman with six locations where exhibits are set up, this year will have 29 stops for art lovers to get to. So get ready, it will be a busy weekend.

“It is an art festival about the art in the Big Bend region,” Blackman explained

The concept was born 20 years ago when a group of artists and gallery owners decided to have an open house to showcase art and the latest artistic creations. What began as “Gallery Night” on the weekend before Thanksgiving each year is now “Artwalk” and is still held the weekend before Turkey Day.

As in years past, there will be funky vehicles, bicycles and such traveling in the parade, which gets rolling at noon Saturday. Galleries will be filled with exhibits showing both eclectic and traditional works of art. Young Odessa artist Censee Gordon will have artwork featured in the Sul Ross Student Art Show, which will be at the Galeria Sibley at 103 Holland Ave. This show will feature oil paintings, sculpture, watercolors, drawings, ceramics, jewelry and prints as will other shows at various locations all over town.

Don’t forget to take a look at the mural titled “Poco & Poquito,” which began during the Viva Big Bend festival last July. You can even stop and see how it was painted in a video that uses time-lapse photography to show how the mural evolved.

Blackman encourages folks to stop by the Kiowa Gallery that she owns, to take in the arts and some refreshments, from places like the Rebecca Creek Distillery and Enchanted Rock Vodka. And don’t forget to get over and participate in the silent auction — all proceeds from that benefit the public library.

And if you are a lover of all things history, get over to Historic Murphy Street where you can take in the rough hewn board floors from a century ago, straw and mud adobe bricks walls grace the sidewalks of Historic Murphy Street. 

Once upon a time, the lively heart of Murphyville, businesses along today’s Murphy Street embodied the simple pleasure and slow pace of life enjoyed in times past.  Sitting with friends and loved ones in the sun on a street side bench eating a refreshing snow-cone and watching the world go by or dining on fine Mexican food under the wisteria covered veranda are a few of the simple pleasures you can expect from an evening spent on Historic Murphy Street.

Don’t forget to stop at the Old Ritchy Hotel and the Raspa Co. and you might stop for some fish tacos over at La Fondita Mexican Restaurant.  Strolling, shopping, eating and having a cold beverage — I can’t think of anything better.

Oh, yes, I can. The free music. Yes, it’s true, the entertainment for this festival is free and is of the legendary variety.

The original honky tonk hero, Billy Joe Shaver, headlines at 10 p.m. Friday night and Texas legend Ray Wylie Hubbard hits the 5th Street Stage at 10 p.m. Saturday night. Shaver, known for hits like “I’m Just an Old Chunk of Coal,” and “Old Five and Dimers Like Me,” will be sure to entertain. Likewise, Hubbard, known for hits like “Up Against the Wall, Redneck Mother” and countless albums over the years, will be equally as entertaining. Plus, the stages open at 4 p.m. each day, and there will be plenty of local and regional talent performing.

Sounds like a good time … color me there.

Odessa, TX

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