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The Piedmont Highlander

The Piedmont Highlander

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Art Walk Preview

The 4th annual Art Walk will occur on Sunday, Oct. 1 from 12p.m. to 5p.m. with over 40 local artists selling their creations throughout Piedmont.

   Artists Laurraine Seiden, Jon Schleuning, Paula Valenzuela, and Valerie Corvin came together during the pandemic in 2020 to create the Art Walk with the idea of an open-air art show. 

    “It’s geared towards artists as an open studio with a fundraising component to support the schools,” Schleuning said. The intent of the walk is to raise awareness, appreciation, and support for the arts particularly in Piedmont. 

The founders asked artists they knew about and had connections with for the first Art Walk. As the walk has grown in popularity, they have had a few artists reach out and ask to be a part of the event. Artists are invited and selected to display their art in the walk.

“I’ve learned a lot about a lot of artists that I just didn’t know about,” Schleuning said. This aligns with one of the main objectives to spread awareness of prolific artists. 

Student Involvement

Along with 40 established local artists, this year’s Art Walk will feature members from Art Jam, the main art club at PHS. The club was started 8 years ago with the goal of creating a community of artists at school. 

Schleuning believes that it is important for young kids and students to witness people they have a personal connection with, like neighbors, succeed in the art industry.  The fact that there are practicing artists in the neighborhood makes you realize that art isn’t just an elective, or just a sort of extra credit type of thing, that it’s an enormous part of creativity.  

   “We have 5 artists signed up [to participate in the Art Walk],” said president of the Art Jam club, junior Caitlin Boothby. “It’s very fun. It is a great club bonding activity,” Boothby said. This year will be the second year that Art Jam is participating in the Art Walk. “It is always very cute seeing little kids coming up and looking at the art,” Boothby said. 

The following PHS and MHS artists will have their artwork for sale: 

 PHS junior Caitlin Boothby  – painted terracotta pots with plant cuttings

MHS freshman Meena Duzak-Forest – pins, stickers, prints

PHS sophomore Rachel Young  – prints, paintings, pins

MHS freshman Mariah Lane  – papercrowns, pins

PHS junior Peyton Cole  – jewelry, prints

In addition to Art Jam, the Yarn Arts Club will also have a table set up at PHS. “This [the Art Walk] is promoting an understanding of how to monetize your career in art and your creativity and I think that’s really beneficial,” said vice president of the club, Clara Murray. 


New This Year:

Since the Art Walk has existed for a few years, the founders now know what to improve upon and what works well.  With artists stationed at their home studios all over Piedmont, it is difficult for artists to go and visit other artists when they are displaying their work.

“You can’t go see the other people’s artwork, and you have 40 people that are really interested in art not being able to see stuff that’s going on,” said Schleuning. To avoid artists not being able to see fellow creatives and their work, artist pavilions will be making a debut. The pavilions will be in central locations such as Piedmont High School and Havens Elementary School.  The pavilions will also help cluster artists together who might not get as much traffic due to their open studio location in relation to other artists. 

Piedmont Center of the Arts has also helped collaborate on preview showings for the art, which is a new aspect this year. The preview showings will allow other artists and community members to see art that will be featured in the walk as well and converse with the artists themselves. There will be a showing and artists reception on Friday Sept 29, at the Center of the Arts from 5p.m to 7p.m. Exhibitions will continue throughout the weekend. 

The Art Walk originally occurred in early May but this year, it will shift to October. In 2022 there hadn’t been as big of a turn out with all the activities that had been revived in the spring. Between the Food Fest, the Markers Fair, Spring Fling, and end of school, the Art Walk was no longer the only event going on. So this year, the Art Walk is occurring in October in hopes to have a bigger traffic flow and local impact, said Schleuning. 

Twenty percent of revenue for items purchased at the Art Walk will go directly to the Piedmont Arts Funds. Over the past three years, the Art Walk has raised close to $40,000 which has been used by the Piedmont Arts Department to pay for clay and glaze for ceramics classes, computers for the animation classes, and specialized instruction for music classes. 

“It’s good for the community, it’s good for the artists, and it’s great for the schools,” Schleuning said

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About the Contributor
Sophie Hess
Sophie Hess, Photos Editor
Sophie Hess (11) is the Photographer for TPH. Apart from journalism, she enjoys cooking, gardening, and traveling with her family.
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