Artists Emily Clare and Annie Grimes Williams were walking in their Ardmore neighborhood back in July when they got the idea for an Ardmore Art Walk to support artists.
At the time, North Carolina was still in Phase 2 of its shutdown with limitations on gathering for outdoor activities.
Because of COVID-19, Clare said there were not a lot of venues open for artists.
“We got to talking, and from there, we decided we could do something in our yards,” Clare said.
On Sept. 26, more than 20 Ardmore residents and their guests will take part in the Ardmore Art Walk by displaying their work on their lawns. Some of them will share locations.
The free event will run from noon to 5 p.m. It will include live music by local musicians who will play on their own lawns and food trucks in the parking lot of Ardmore Baptist Church at the corner of Irving Street and Elizabeth Avenue. Maps will be available at tables.
Participants are asked to keep the community safe by wearing masks.
Clare said there will be plenty of room for social distancing, and hand sanitizer will be available at all tables.
Organizers Clare, a mixed-media artist, and Williams, a metalsmith and enamelist who makes jewelry, said people will have the chance to walk through the area to explore the historic Ardmore neighborhood, shop and support local artists.
Williams, the owner of CopperTide Contemporary Enamel Jewelry, said she is excited to be part of the event.
“I think it’s going to be a wonderful time for people to get out and enjoy some of the rich creative energy in our city and in our neighborhood,” Williams said. “We have so many talented artists and musicians around. Many (of us), like myself, make the majority of our livings from craft shows, or the musicians from gigs. All of that has been canceled this year, which has been hugely frustrating.”
She said she typically does about 20 different craft shows a year but has participated in just two so far this year, all of which were before the initial pandemic shutdown in mid-March.
She said she and Clare wanted to create an event that would be safe while supporting community artists.
Clare said the art walk participants will be on Elizabeth and Rosewood Avenues, Irving Street, and Academy Street up to Hawthorne Road within the historic Ardmore neighborhood.
“We just started with who we knew in the neighborhood and who was close by,” Williams said. “We wanted to keep it a walkable area. There are a few artists that are kind of outliers, but we still wanted them to be involved. They are still Ardmore artists, so we found them yards or they had friends who were a little bit closer into our radius area so it would be nice and walkable for everyone.”
Artists, musicians and food
The visual artists that will set up for the Ardmore Art Walk are Emily Clare (linoleum prints and ornaments), Annie Grimes Williams (CopperTide Contemporary Enamel Jewelry), Kat Lamp (Quirky Fun Stuff), Lindsay Piper Potter-Figueiredo (upcycled jewelry, fiber art), Shivani Ghoshal (woodcut and linocut prints), Woodie Anderson (handprinted cloth, paper goods), Beth Murray (abstract acrylic painter), Mark Williams (handmade drink caddies), Bussie Parker Keyhoe (mixed media artist), Carol Eickmeyer (watercolors, mixed media), Pam Fish (upcycled macrame), Avery Wells (playful contemporary pottery), Liz Simmons (Vultures Become Muses), Toni Becker (whimsical colorful art), Janet Williams (MudFun Pottery), Bill Dent (photography and beekeeping), Bruce Bradford (artistic functional furniture), Jackie Bangma (greeting cards and prints), Matt Floge (boats, homes and joinery) and Caroline Dalholt (paintings, prints and shirts).
The art walk musicians are Cashavelly Morrison (Americana and singer/songwriter), Ardmore Brass Quintet, and Jim Parham and Friends.
The food trucks at the event will be Taco Bros (Mexican food), PinKor’s Delights (Thai Asian food) and Sunset Slush (Italian Ice).
Clare and Williams have worked as a team to put on the art walk, both saying they have enjoyed the experience and coordinating the event together.
“I couldn’t ask to be doing this with anyone better,” Clare said. “It has been so smooth.”
Organizing the art walk has also been a learning experience for Clare.
“I’m learning there are these different artists in the area that I didn’t know about,” she said. “Ardmore is just so unique.”
She said more visual artists and musicians are still asking to participant in the art walk, but because of planning reasons to design a postcard, there was a deadline of Aug. 1.
“If this goes as well as it has so far, this may become an annual event,” Clare said.