Reporter and Reporter

On Saturday, the city of Bowling Green will host the 20th annual Art Walk Fine Art and Contemporary Craft Fair, which will feature works of art and performances by local and University artists.

The galleries will be open for viewing from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The Art Walk began as a spring counterpart to the annual Black Swamp Arts Festival in the fall, said Sandy Wicks, whose family owns shops in the downtown area including Grounds For Thought.

“People wanted to have another event downtown in the spring so they wouldn’t have to wait the whole year for it again,” Wicks said. “It’s a great way to get the community out and together.”

While much of the galleries and events take place outside, this year’s unpredictable weather has led to a slight change in plans for the event, said Barbara Ruland, Director of the Downtown Bowling Green Foundation.

“We still have everything going on; it’s just going to be inside this year,” she said.

Events will now take place in buildings like Grounds For Thought, the Public Library, For Keeps, the Happy Badger and Ben Franklin. Most businesses will have some art or host an event at some point throughout the day, Ruland said.

The artists participating will have an opportunity to show off their work to others.

“We have artists, from grade school to retired folks, who are very creative,” Ruland said. “Some people are amateurs and many of them are professionals, and we give them a venue to show and possibly sell their work.”

Art of all kinds will be present at the event including painting, rug weaving and glass work, Wicks said. Her shop, Grounds For Thought, will also display work by Bowling Green High School Senior Studio students.

Special anniversary events are also planned for this year, according to the Downtown Foundation website,

The first of these is the dedication of the new Alvie Clock at 10 a.m. along Main Street.

The second event is the Fashion, Food and Fine Art scholarship fundraiser hosted by SamB’s. The event will have seating at 11 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. and will help raise money for scholarship funds for the BG Women’s Club and the Bowling Green branches of American Association of University Women and Zonta for female high school students at Bowling Green High School who will attend the University next year, according to the website.

Another event will be the After Art Walk Party and People’s Choice Awards at Grounds For Thought at 6 p.m. People will be able to vote for their favorite artists or piece of work, Ruland said.

“If you do vote you might win a little ‘thank you’ prize in a raffle,” she said. “But some artist will win prizes for sure for their work. We have gift cards they will receive.”

The party will also give people a chance to participate in the Shoe Down Silent Auction.

The Shoe Down comes from the logo of the Art Walk: a painted high-top tennis shoe. The logo was designed by artist and University graduate Kelli Kling for the event years ago and has a dual meaning since the shoe represents both the art and the walking aspects of the Art Walk, Ruland said.

“The Downtown Shoe Down is now a competition, a friendly one, between downtown businesses to do their own creative take on a high-top tennis shoe,” she said. “Then the shoes are auctioned off at the end of the weekend.”

People can buy the different decorated shoes in the auction, with all the proceeds going to landscaping and flowering expenses for the Downtown foundation to keep the area looking nice, according to the website.

The event gives students and visitors a chance to experience downtown BG in a way they haven’t before, Ruland said.

“I like to get people downtown so they can see what a great place it is to hang out in,” she said. “It’s a tradition, and it’s a community celebration.”