November 16, 2012
As busy as we had been in September, there was more to come.
Open Streets Hamilton
Sunday, September 23rd
The day was off to a chilly start as people leisurely began appearing on the streets. James Street North was closed to regular traffic and being so close to the south end of the road closure, we were only able to witness the action from one end.
The festival was intended to promote people to leave their cars behind for a day and actively walk or bike to reacquaint themselves with downtown Hamilton.
Overall, after a bustling Super Crawl, Open Streets is a great idea and successful attempt at luring folks away from sluggish Sunday routines.
With no time to coordinate with the organizers, we still made time to contribute. After an hour and a few boxes of sidewalk chalk we added a hopscotch from James to Hughson Street. The only thing more rewarding than watching an overly ambitious jumper hop eagerly for a block, is being that person and completing it flawlessly!
King William Art Walk
Saturday, September 29th
An exciting feature about moving to King William Street was surprisingly hearing about the Art Walk. The James Street Art Crawl has proven itself a great success for many years now and smart investment among those in control has been to help branch off of James' good fortune. King William being so close to the downtown is a great candidate to help move things east and strengthen the downtown core. The unfortunate use of King William as the 'back-alley parking lot' street should see its end nearing. Hopefully, we can encourage walks and crawls onto Barton and King too.
Although small, this year's Art Walk proved to be a success as a crowd gathered and moved about down the street jumping from installation to installation with exhibitors discussing their work. As soon as we learned about the Art Walk in August we excitedly requested to participate and gathered some artists together to take part. After never hearing back from organizers we continued to coordinate our own plans. Two days prior we had an installation artist restlessly awaiting response, two performance artists falling back on the gallery as a venue and a full exhibition of new artwork on the gallery walls ready. On the day of, the space directly in front of the gallery was issued to a participating artist and we still had heard no response leaving us with no jurisdiction to install or perform. In a matter of minutes, the walk was directed to the exhibit that was placed in front of the gallery and directed to proceed down the street to the next exhibit on their pamphlets. Fortunately, the curious ones didn't miss us, and surely came back. Despite having lost the presence of our three artists after the Art Walk, we welcomed anyone who wanted to check out our brand new art gallery on their route. We are always more than ready to take part in art events in our area, especially if they are scheduled to stop in front of our business. After trying to further explore the miscommunication we were greeted with shrugged shoulders and a circle of pointed fingers. Although disappointed, we were not really upset at anybody's decisions, but we truly hope we can all come together in the future to help better organize events of this sort so streets like King William can truly flourish and prove its potential. The next time a new art gallery opens during an art event, we want to help them take part. Thanks to the curious ones who looked beyond the boundaries, keep looking around the corners every art crawl and we can branch out our community.