Spring Art Walk: Downtown LC to transform into vibrant art market today

The annual Arts & Humanities Council of SWLA Spring Art Walk — one of Southwest Louisiana’s largest free art markets — is happening from 2 to 6 p.m. today, April 27, on the streets of Downtown Lake Charles.

Locals can expect a family-friendly afternoon of art, entertainment, food and shopping. Ashanti Griffin, project coordinator, Arts and Humanities Council of SWLA, said that the Spring Art Walk is a yearly event where “people from all backgrounds and walks of life can meet and enjoy the fruits of our area’s art scene.”

“Not only is shopping a good way to support these local artists and vendors, but it helps build and maintain Lake Charles’ “local first” identity,” she explained. “Spring Art Walk also serves as a chance for the community to get exposure and insight into how art is created to help gain a better appreciation for art of all styles.”

Over 90 art vendors are scheduled to set up shop on the streets of Downtown. Some participating vendors include D Barbier Pottery, Sandra Willis Walkin, Hey Baby Prints, O’Kay Creations, Scatteringstars83, Camille Vizena, BS Pottery, Art of Page Gardner, Maya Designs, Morgan Allain and AKA Cosplay and Art.

Griffin said that the Spring Art Walk provides an economic boost to downtown businesses in addition to giving local artists a platform.

“Aside from the local artists and vendors getting a grand stage to show their wares, Downtown turns into a bustling hub. This means downtown shops, restaurants, and amenities all feel the benefits of us bringing a full festival right to their doorstep.”

The highlight of the Spring Art Walk is the Art Wars competition. In this competition, individual artists and teams gather at the event’s center to create murals live. Each participant and team are given a four-by-eight sheet of plywood. Griffin said that artists are “encouraged to paint whatever their heart desires!”

They have one hour to complete the murals. The artists compete against their peers for tips and auction winnings; Art Walk guests vote for their favorite mural by tipping. Following the competition, the murals will be featured in a silent auction. Artists receive 50 percent of the sales.

During the Art Walk, there will be live entertainment as well. The Barbe Show Choir will perform at 2:30 p.m., followed by the Calcasieu Theatrical Arts at 3:30. At 4:30, the Lake Area Ballet will perform. The Christian Youth Theater will close out the performances at 5.

This year will also feature a kids zone, beer garden and food truck court.

The Artisan’s Gallery – housed in the Historic City Hall Arts and Cultural Center – will hold a reception for the gallery’s exhibition from 4 to 6 p.m. on Saturday. The exhibit will be available for viewing during the Hall’s regular hours on Saturday, 10 a .m. to 6 p.m.

The event is free and open to the public.

The following streets will be closed from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.: the 100 to 300 Block Broad St and the 600 to 800 Block Ryan St. Streets.

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