By Laura Latzko
Visitors learn what shapes downtown during ArtWalk
Art walks can be a chance to not only see fine art but to explore an art scene.
The returning Gold Palette ArtWalk Summer Spectacular lets Valley residents familiarize themselves with Downtown Scottsdale (aka Old Town) as an arts destination. Held on Thursday, July 12, this year’s summer art walk will have a Caribbean theme.
During the event, visitors can get refreshed with drinks such as cucumber lime spritzers, espresso slushies, blueberry lemonades or watermelon mint coolers. Misters will keep visitors cool as they stroll. A keyboardist, guitarists, a saxophonist and steel drummers will provide the soundtrack while a balloon artist creates palm tree and flower balloon sculptures.
Organized by the Scottsdale Gallery Association, the summer art walk is part of a larger series. The association hosts frequent themed art walks, including popular Western and Native American-focused art events.
The art walk runs along Main Street from Scottsdale Road to Goldwater Boulevard on Marshall Way from just north of Indian School Road to Fifth Avenue. Gallery studios, Western Spirit: Scottsdale’s Museum of the West and the Scottsdale Artists’ School help shape the art scene in Old Town.
During the art walks, downtown galleries have a variety of artwork on display, including landscape and portrait-style paintings, sculptures and photography.
Holly Bohling, a board member for the Scottsdale Gallery Association, says the summer event is geared toward local art patrons.
“We want to make this be about Scottsdale residents, Phoenix residents, just our local folks because all year long, we’re dealing with tourists. We’re really wanting to give a thank you shout-out to our locals,” says Bohling, whose daughters display artwork, too.
Artists will be onsite at galleries to talk with visitors about their work. Some of them will be working inside of their galleries during the event. “They will meet artists that are at work, that have their studios there. They can check out what’s in progress,” Bohling says.
The caliber of artwork and atmosphere sets the event apart from others. The featured artists range from contemporary creators to sculptors. “It’s everything you would want,” she says. “You park, and you can cover and see all of that in just a short walk.”
Many downtown galleries are owned by artists. One example is Amery Bohling Art Gallery, helmed by Holly Bohling’s daughter. Amery works in and sells her paintings and plein air works out of her studio at 7100 E. Main Street, Suite 1.
She describes herself as a traditional Western landscape painter. Much of Amery’s work focuses on the Grand Canyon. She depicts different aspects of the canyon, including the people who work there, the river, the palisades and the rims. Exploring the Grand Canyon through hikes and rafting trips is part of her creative process. Often, she works on pieces during the trips.
“You get something that still has the dirt stuck in the paint, the water from the river. It’s windy. It’s dusty. All that stuff becomes a part of the painting,” Amery says.
Painting outdoors gives her a better understanding of what she is depicting. “I think if you don’t paint outside, you won’t know what to paint inside. The color, concept and vibe of a place – you just don’t get that from a photo,” Amery says.
Patrons connect with her work because of the stories behind it, she adds. “Buying a painting is buying my memory of that trip,” Amery says. “When someone comes in and purchases the piece, I can tell them what happened on that day.”
The Gold Palette ArtWalk Summer Spectacular takes place from 6:30 to 9 p.m. Thursday, July 12 in Downtown Scottsdale. Visit scottsdalegalleries.com for more information.