All summer, Firehouse Art Center kept the block party vibe going with Summer on the Streets, a series that welcomes musicians, artists and performers to downtown Longmont and offers activities for the whole family. .
This weekend, the summer party spirit culminates in a gigantic ArtWalk on Main, a vast day of art shopping, concerts on five stages and much more. It spans five blocks on Saturdays from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.
“The event is huge,” said Elaine Waterman, executive director of the Firehouse Art Center. “I think we’ve doubled the number of artists exhibiting, and I think that’s what I’m looking forward to the most.”
With over 150 vendors and artists selling artwork and merchandise and a variety of live entertainment from bands to dancers, ArtWalk on Main is the event not to be missed this weekend.
“Of the 160 booths, I think 70% of them are artists,” Waterman said. “From small items to large, this is a great place to shop for the holidays. Or find an artist you like and ask them to do something special just for you.
Over the past few months, Waterman has worked hard to create space for organizations and creators of all kinds – inviting jewelers, nonprofits and makeup artists to participate in the Saturday event.
“I love seeing the diversity of art created by this community,” Waterman said. “There are so many different mediums represented. As for the artists in action, we have someone throwing ceramics on a wheel and someone demonstrating carpentry on a lathe. From photography to painting, we also have many 2D artists creating on the street. »
The fun doesn’t end with an extensive display of art offerings. Participants can try their hand at ax throwing or, if they’re feeling daring, have garlands of hair weaved into their manes.
“This is my first time exhibiting at ArtWalk under the Longmont Artists Guild tent,” said Longmont artist Fran Gordon, who will share the space with Lara Mann and other creatives. “I recently joined the LAG board, so it’s important to represent and support The Guild.”
Visitors to Gordon’s exhibition can expect to see his multi-media pieces which are as functional as they are intriguing. His steampunk-inspired works — with exposed gears, odds and ends, and occasional rust — are favorites for those looking for something outside of typical department store decor.
“I’ve worked on making several sheet music-themed clocks,” Gordon said. “One of my new series is a group of clocks made from my own vintage sheet music from 1970-1971. This was the sheet music I used at that time to learn to play guitar.
Gordon built clocks with sheet music from The Beatles’ “When I’m 64” and Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody.” Those who want the score of a specific tune incorporated into a design can ask him to do so.
“My musical themed clocks can be custom ordered for Christmas, with specific songs,” Gordon said. “As all of my art is made from recycled materials, I can only customize the song, not the specific details.”
Although space is limited at the LAG tent, those wishing to see a larger collection of Gordon’s clocks can visit Meco Coffee Collective, at 627 Main St. in Longmont.
“Longmont’s creative community is very open and welcoming,” Gordon said. “As the newest member of the LAG Board of Directors, I hope to spread the word, let people know who we are and encourage participation.”
While artists such as Rex Peoples and Los Cheesies will contribute to ArtWalk’s varied soundtrack, a longtime music organization will also be part of the mix.
“The Longmont Symphony is delighted to have our brass quintet perform at this Saturday’s ArtWalk,” said Elliot Moore, conductor of the Longmont Symphony Orchestra. “Although we traditionally perform in a concert or recital hall, the LSO is always looking for different avenues of community involvement.”
While the Longmont Symphony Orchestra has kept loyal classical and chamber music fans at its shows, members are thrilled to be able to reach people who might not necessarily normally buy a ticket for a full production.
“ArtWalk gives us the opportunity to introduce parts of the orchestra to new audiences outside of the concert hall,” Moore said. “These types of performances are generally more laid back in nature and allow our musicians to interact more closely with the audience.”
For over 50 years, the Longmont Symphony Orchestra has provided top performances in a variety of unsuspecting venues, including a recent piano concert at PJ’s Wine and Spirits in Longmont.
Saturday’s set will feature horns and trumpets.
“The Symphony Orchestra’s Brass Quintet is one of our most captivating ensembles,” Moore said. “While an outdoor performance may be more challenging for one of our string or wind ensembles, it lends itself perfectly to the acoustics of a brass quintet.”
The Longmont Symphony Orchestra does not hesitate to embrace pop music. The group is known for offering works by Beethoven and bringing just as much passion to modern numbers, leaving attendees pleasantly surprised.
“We’ll be offering something to appeal to both our younger and more mature audiences,” Moore said. “And there will definitely be opportunities to speak with musicians between musical selections.”
When he’s not leading the musicians in song, Moore is eager to experience the different performances and views offered by ArtWalk.
From the marvel of Mexican folk dance troupe Nahucalli and Centennial Ballet to the flamboyant choreography of fire dancing group Elemental Enchanters, there will be sights to admire around every corner.
“With live music, activities and crafts from local artists, the ArtWalk at Longmont is the place to be on Saturdays,” Moore said.
Those who want to keep the fun going can head to The Times Collaborative at 8 p.m. for the ArtWalk afterparty with live jazz from singer Karyna Balch and pianist Charles Blenzig. Tickets for the intimate set are $15.
As summer fades, fall offers more opportunities to engage and come together.
“After ArtWalk, we go straight into preparing for Dia de los Muertos,” Waterman said. “This is one of my favorite events at Longmont, and we really appreciate the partnership we have with the Longmont Museum and the Town of Longmont. You can expect the Gigantes to return for the procession, and we are planning our Catrina Ball. I am also very excited about the exhibits we have planned.
For a complete list of vendors, artists and performers and the ArtWalk schedule, visit artwalklongmont.org.