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The Piedmont Highlander

The Piedmont Highlander

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Recap and Photos of the 2023 Art Walk

Jennifer Gulassa, part time librarian at PMS, was showing her art with two other teachers, Beary and Seiden.

The Art Walk, a community event for Piedmont residents and art enthusiasts, returned this year with familiar faces, award winning artists and a few new features. 

There were over 40 artists, many of whom have participated in the Art Walk before, who took part in the walk with two artists pavilions, and a few artist-studio locations. 

“There are so many ceramicists and painters and photographers. It’s pretty incredible that such a small town can turn out so many amazing pieces of work,” said PHS graduate Gigi Gleghorn. 

The Art Walk highlights the creativity and talents of the Piedmont community. The walk is becoming more of a fixture in Piedmont, said Valerie Corvin, one of the founders of the Art Walk. 

This year, the artists’ pavilions, areas in which many artists showed their art in one place, were implemented into the walk for the first time. The goal of the more centralized locations was to bring artists closer together in order for artists to interact with one another and to bring people to the artists who might not have had as much traffic due to their studio location.

“We’ve had more people come by because in past years we were a little bit further out from the center of town. It’s been nice to have people we don’t know come by,” quilter Kirsten Hoseman said.

“It was a fun year to experiment with it [the pavilions]. I’d like to do it again,” Corvin said.

An artist preview was held on Sept. 29th at Piedmont Center of the Arts, as well as an open gallery the previous weekend. The gallery and artist reception served as a sneak peak for what was to be featured in the walk, which was a new element applied this year. 

The Art Walk also included nine current or retired PUSD staff, some of which are Larraine Seiden, Jennifer Golassa, Shoshana Beary, Suzie Skugstad, and Raul Jorcino. In addition, 4 PHS alumni participated in the walk: Gigi Gleghorn, Natalie Jeng, Kirsten Hoseman, and Jack Lahaderne.

“The big reason why I do this is so I can connect with the community. I love seeing students come back, especially students I haven’t seen in many years,” said PUSD kindergarten teacher, Shoshana Beary. She especially wanted to get involved once she found out that 20 percent of the proceeds go to the Piedmont Arts Fund.

“It’s really exciting to be able to do art but then also do something for the schools simultaneously,” said part-time PMS librarian and part-time artist Jennifer Gulassa. She also loves seeing her former students and their parents.

Natalie Jeng, another returning PHS graduate, started the Art Jam club eight years ago. Jeng and Art Jam both had tables at the highschool.

“It really warms my heart to see their booth and that four years after I graduated the club is still going strong,” said Jeng.

This year featured multiple members from families volunteering and showing their art together.

Gleghorn was presenting her art next to her aunt, Laura Paladini, while her mom and other aunt helped volunteer with the event.

“It’s great to have such an amazing support system,” Gleghorn said.

“It makes it so much more fun and meaningful, especially with my niece,” said Paladini.

Bill Jeng was also showing his art next to his daughter, Natalie Jeng and wife, Darlene Low, who is the adviser of the Art Jam club and registrar at the counseling center at PHS.

“It’s fantastic, you know, it’s really great to see my daughter blossom as an artist,” Jeng said.

Lorna Strotz and Kristen Hoseman, a mother-daughter duo, who have been participating in the walk for multiple years, were showing their art at Havens together. 

“It’s fun because I like my daughter’s work. I like her colors and sense of design,” Strotz said. 

As the walk evolves, the organizers will assess their learnings on how to improve for future Art Walks.

 “As a community event, it was a home run,” said co-founder Jon Schleuning, “As a sales event, it did okay.” The walk is meant to use the open studio format to bring awareness and access to the artists and their work. Many artists gave out business cards that could lead to future sales or commissions, said Schleuning.  

Many artists will have their artwork featured in the DeYoung Open, which will be on exhibition at the DeYoung museum from now until Jan. 7, 2024. 

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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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