Downtown Mount Airy was bustling Saturday, as throngs gathered for the first ever Mount Airy Art Walk.
The event showcased the works of well over 75 artists at 40 locations, according to Surry Arts Council Executive Director Tanya Jones.
“It was a huge success,” she said as she navigated the crowd at the Andy Griffith Playhouse. “We probably have eight or nine basket makers here, a wood carver and visual artists on site. We have a lot going on.”
The event featured artists showcasing their works while creating new pieces at the site.
And it wasn’t just an average hung canvasses in a staid museum. The works, including painting, photography, drawing, mixed media, sculpture, graphic design, jewelry making, batik, quilting, basket making, luthier craft, woodworking, ceramics, doll making, leather work, needlework craft, lace tatting, book signing and face painting, were featured in non-traditional venues, from a balcony at the Earle Theatre to a restaurant lobby.
Jones said the great thing about the event was the co-sponsorship of the event through a subgrant of Grassroots program of the North Carolina Arts Council.
“What that subgrant did was make the event entirely free to local businesses,” she said. “It allowed the artists to sell the work and keep 100 percent of the proceeds of the sale.”
Calling the first-ever event a “win-win for the community,” Jones said plans are already in the formative stages for a second-annual event next year.
“We’re absolutely planning another one based on the response to this one,” she said with a grin. “Folks have really jumped on board with different venues hosting multiple events.”
Jones said a trip downtown Saturday morning said it all.
“I couldn’t find a place to park,” she said. “This is incredible. Every parking place on Main Street was taken and I got to the Andy Griffith Playhouse about 10 a.m. and the parking lot was full. There were artists in the lobby, downstairs and just about anywhere we could put them.
“It’s just what we wanted to happen,” Jones said. “It really makes the town come alive and shows the high quality of art we have here in Mount Airy and Surry County.”
Reach Keith Strange at email@example.com or 719-1929.