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The BG News
BG24 Newscast
November 30, 2023

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Downtown shows off local artistry

Downtown Bowling Green will be transformed into an artistic grandstand this weekend when artists from the University, from Bowling Green High School and from around the area showcase their work for ArtWalk 2005.

Uniquely, the event’s primary venues are storefronts, with 24 locations downtown sponsoring over 50 artists.

Marble Slab Creamery is one such shop, backing area artists Robin Nunes, Gail Christofferson-Works and the Black Swamp Arts Festival poster gallery.

Marble Slab owner Deb Kennard said, “It’s great that the downtown community is

supporting the artists and we’re just looking forward to seeing the art in [our] windows.”

Kennard contacted Main St. BG, an organization dedicated to improving the city’s downtown that is coordinating the event, to volunteer her store for ArtWalk.

“We weren’t sure what to do with our windows and art seems to be a part of the community,” she said. “We’re talking to [the artists], we’d like to keep their art in our windows.”

Earlene Kilpatrick, director of Main St. BG, is heading up the show. “It’s an opportunity for the artists to showcase themselves,” Kilpatrick said.

A wide range of ages are set to participate, from a gallery of professional artists at the Bowling Green Public Library to a display of high school art students’ work in local coffee shop Grounds For Thought to work from Montessori Elementary School at Cosmo’s coffee shop.

“We encourage all ages [to come] because of the age groups that are participating,” Kilpatrick said.

Among the art mediums on offer are sculpture, stained glass, pen and ink, fiber, painting and others.

ArtWalk is rooted in the Black Swamp Arts Festival — the head committee for the BSAF founded the then-new art show 13 years ago.

The Black Swamp Arts Festival is another large celebration of artistry in Bowling Green that features booths lining the streets of downtown.

Kilpatrick stressed that the BSAF is different from this weekend’s festivities primarily because ArtWalk promotes the downtown area in addition to artists.

Besides using storefronts instead of streets to display artwork, ArtWalk also differentiates itself through the ancillary events it offers.

During ArtWalk, which takes place tomorrow from noon to 5 p.m., some of the featured artists will be on site to talk to visitors about their pieces and demonstrate their trades.

Additionally, each ArtWalk visitor will receive a brochure with pictures of five pieces of architecture in downtown as part of an “architecture scavenger hunt.” Those who write down what buildings the pictures depict will be entered in a drawing for gift certificates good for over 70 business in Bowling Green.

Visiting a majority of the venues displaying art and receiving a stamp at each one will make visitors eligible for gift certificates as well.

While the event promises to be a good time for spectators, shopkeepers like Kennard are excited, too.

Kennard, who moved her family here from Monroe, Mich., opened the Marble Slab Creamery this semester.

Being new to the community, she is still getting accustomed to Bowling Green.

“My son just started going to Bowling Green High School and I was really impressed with the art here,” Kennard said.

“We’ve never been here for the ArtWalk, so we’re really looking forward to it,” she said.

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