Gallery Walk is upon us once again, and alongside new art being showcased in galleries throughout downtown Hot Springs, there are three features not to miss out on while on your June stroll.
These three features sandwich most of the galleries* open during Gallery Walk, so walkers can be sure not to miss out on any of the art the night has to offer. Also, the following features are not confined to Gallery Walk, and can be found after the evening.
Local art at the newly-opened Wrapped Gift Boutique
While Wrapped Gift Boutique, located at 404 Central Ave., is a gift shop allowing shoppers to pick multiple gifts to customize a gift box for any occasion, part of its product includes local art, now making it a stop on any Gallery Walker's tour.
Tonight, the newly-opened boutique will have bathhouse paintings by Alison Parsons — a local artist who left downtown in 2016.
Along with this, Wrapped will have handmade glass, from decorative hearts, vases, plates and sculptures from Riley Art Glass Studio. Price ranges anywhere from $10-$225.
Wrapped will also feature work from Hannah Cook, daughter of Lakeside Superintendent Shawn Cook.
Cook, who now lives in Texas, creates prints featuring Hot Springs, Lakeside, Little Rock and Fayetteville. Wrapped is currently the only store carrying her work.
The products mentioned are also available during Wrapped's regular business hours.
Emergent Arts' community PRIDE exhibit
June marks the month of PRIDE in the LGBTQ+ community, and in a PRIDE-inspired exhibit, Emergent Arts is showcasing the community in a "We See You" photo exhibit.
Scattered along the wall of the Emergent Arts lobby, located at 341-A Whittington Ave., over 100 photos of the local LGBTQ+ community will be on display tonight.
"We're just all out here hopefully living our best lives, and this is an opportunity just to kind of see everybody together as one big image of diversity and inclusion in Hot Springs, and the arts is such a good way to do that," Emergent Arts Executive Director Erin Holliday said.
"One thing that's really great in a lot of these photos is when you think about PRIDE or parades and marches and all of that stuff, you've got people in bright colors or a drag queen, but the vast majority of these pictures are just people being people," she added. "... Representation really does matter, and when especially young people don't feel that they're alone or isolated, then they're more empowered to be whoever it is that they need to be in the world."
The exhibit will remain up for the next three weeks.
Along with the PRIDE exhibit, during Gallery Walk, Emergent Arts will also offer an open mic storytelling area and craft area for PRIDE sign and decoration making to flaunt in the June 18 PRIDE March through downtown Hot Springs.
The Central Theater's rainbow wall
At the end of Gallery Walk, stop by the newly installed and carefully curated rainbow wall on the side of the Central Theatre at 1008 Central Ave.
This after Gallery Walk dedication and celebration will start at 7 p.m. and last until about 11 p.m., weather permitting.
The mural collaboration was painted by world renowned artists like X-MEX and Jason Botkin, along with local artists like Miranda Brewer, Trey Steelman and Bethannie Newsom Steelman.
Botkin, who painted the new mural on the front of the Central Theater, describes the colorful mural on the side as an "exploration of shared creativity," as well as a "cultural landscape of Hot Springs" that is a "collaboration thematically exploring the collaboration itself, along the spectrum of a rainbow, of course, and its palette; celebrating differences, essentially, as a point of strength and not weakness."
Gallery Walk is a community-wide event when art galleries stay open late, oftentimes offering refreshments, on the first Friday of every month.
According to the Hot Springs Area Cultural Alliance, since 1989 Gallery Walk has featured the opening of new art exhibitions showcased in the downtown fine art galleries and studio spaces.
From contemporary to traditional, the diverse offerings of Gallery Walk’s art and cultural scene make downtown Hot Springs the place to be on the first Friday of each and every month.
*Other galleries open during tonight's walk include: Dryden Pottery at 341 Whittington Ave., Whittington Gallery at 307 Whittington Ave., Gallery Central at 340 Central Ave., Artists’ Workshop Gallery at 310A Central Ave., All Things Arkansas at 610 Central Ave., American Art Gallery and Gifts LLC at 724 Central Ave., Rebecca Peterman Photography at 801 Central Ave. Suite 30, Justus Fine Art Gallery at 827 A Central Ave. and Esther’s Gallery and Gifts at 305 Broadway St.