Local businesses give a buck
More than 60 businesses will attract customers with featured artwork, displays and performances for this year’s artwalk, but profit is just one part of the picture.
Annie Hubble, Moscow Food Co-Op front-end manager and organizer for the store’s artistic activity throughout the year, said many folks don’t make it past the Main Street festivities to peruse the Co-Op’s artwalk offerings. The business does well during the rest of the year, she said, and the lack of crowded aisles doesn’t bother her. She said the Co-Op’s participation in artwalk isn’t about increased cash flow.
“The point is to honor the artist,” Hubble said. “We participate in the community and do things for their own sake because we see ourselves as a hub of the community.”
The Co-Op will feature Naomi Gray’s oil paintings of Palouse animals and scenery from June 15 to July 26, and work from Palouse Women Artists from July 27 onward.
Hubble said she was quite pleased with Gray’s material after Gray applied online for the store’s display, and it was thrilling to find an artist she didn’t know. She said she’s happy to host Gray’s paintings because people will recognize the local settings.
Austin Storm, co-owner of the Storm Cellar clothing store, said there might be more artists in the region than people perceive.
“(Artwalk) reflects the diversity of Moscow art very well,” he said. “(There’s) a wide array of mediums.”
The Storm Cellar will feature contributions from the University of Idaho theatre department, including costume and set design watercolor renderings and models.
Storm has displayed different artwork each year, such as various mediums of prints and graduate student installations. He said installations are his favorite displays.
Storm said artwalk appears grander every year with more businesses represented and bigger opening ceremonies. artwalk is a “tremendous” tool for exposure, he said, as it draws so many people from local and surrounding communities and particularly those who wouldn’t otherwise shop in downtown Moscow.
“Downtown gets packed out, unlike other times during the year,” he said. “It feels like a Farmers Market but at a whole other level. There are so many families. It’s great.”
Stefanie Slichter, manager of the tattoo studio Untamed Art, said she wants to get people involved with the artwork this year.
“We want people who are here to kind of interact and participate with artwalk, and maybe leave their marks,” Slichter said.
She said there will be a segment of the store’s wall devoted to spontaneous painting and chalk art from Artwalk patrons during the Jun. 15 opening ceremony, and an in-store reception at 4:00 p.m. where people can observe tattoo artists at work.
Untamed Art currently displays its feature paintings from student artist Caitie Kirby, and will also host “pinup girl” collages made from cut out magazine images of motorcycles from artist Rose Graham.
Slichter said there were a lot of people in the store last year and she is hoping for a similar outcome this time around.
“I personally love participating in Artwalk and hosting the reception, and doing nothing but talking about art with everyone who comes to the reception,” she said. “It’s usually a fun and exhausting day.”
Slichter said her business at the studio is art, despite some disagreement about the artistic value of body modification and piercing, and it’s “amazing what her tattoo artists do.” She said it’s worthwhile to support local artists, whatever their mediums.
“Everybody has an artistic side, whether crocheting, writing—whatever you do, it’s important to emphasize and draw it out of you,” she said. “It’s hard to be an artist in a small town, so supporting your local artist is the way to go, I think.”