Diane Washa carried her easel, paints, brushes and canvas over a bed of boulders to find the perfect spot to paint Maine’s ocean shores.
Washa has been painting outdoors or “en plein air,” since 2006 and plans to replicate that same ocean scene at this year’s Stoughton Art Walk.
Organizers from the third annual Art Walk, which takes place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m Saturday, Sept. 28, plan to host 26 artists, who will exhibit in the businesses along Main Street. This year, spectators can witness four day-long demonstrations, including Washa’s “en plein air,” at Abel Contemporary Gallery.
Event participants can enjoy local and regional art such as cartoonist ceramic sculptors, Wisconsin themed paintings, glass jewelry and architectural photos with custom frames.
The event has brought more than 2,000 visitors to downtown Stoughton each year, the Hub previously reported. Visitors are able to browse and purchase artwork, which is displayed in 22 locations. Prices for the pieces will range from $5 to $1,500.
This is the first year the City of Stoughton Arts Council has organized the event. The Chamber of Commerce previously organized the event but collectively decided it didn’t align with their mission, Arts Council representative Nicole Dowland said.
In November 2018, The Stoughton Arts Council organized a community forum to gage interested residents and to see if there were community members who wanted to organize Art Walk. Dowland said there was so much enthusiasm from businesses and residents, the Arts Council, which is part of city government, decided to take it over.
“There was not a single person in the room who said they didn’t want the event to happen,” Dowland said.
For people who have participated previously, the format for this year’s Art Walk will be the same, including the demonstrations where visitors can watch artists create in real time.
She said they are meant to give visitors a new experience with the artwork.
“Demonstrations are important because they add an element of interaction,” Dowland said. “We encourage the folks and visitors to interact and learn more about these various art forms.”
Washa, long time exhibitor at Abel Contemporary Gallery, said with her “en plein air” style of painting, she is use to spectators. She generally creates Wisconsin landscapes like prairies, streams and rivers with oil paints.
Among other demonstrators are Andrea Herkert, live rosemaling at Woodland Studios, 195 E. Main St.; wheel throwing by Brook Johnson at Green Road Pottery, 261 W. Main St; Ingrid McMasters spinning at Spry Whimsy Fiber Arts, 168 W. Main St. and all day tours at the 1921 historic Stoughton Village Players Theater.
There will also be live music at four locations.
Brass Knuckles Brass Quintet is to play at 10 a.m. and at 2:30 p.m. There will be a preview of the Stoughton High School Musical and performances by members of the Stoughton Center for the Arts, during the Stoughton Community Farmers’ Market in the parking lot near city hall.
Fahrenheit 364 plans to have three performances starting at noon with Dave Bacholl, then 1:30 p.m. with the Bluebirds band and 3:30 p.m. with Christina Dollhausen. Brandi Branes, the new house manager at Stoughton Opera House, will play marimba with her husband, Kevin Carnes, at 1 p.m. at Abel Contemporary Gallery.
Lastly, Blue Moon Klezmer plans to perform 2 p.m. at the Stoughton Public Library with member Richard MacDonald, the former library director.
The Art Walk has always been a juried show. Four judges are to walk visit each artist and score on originality, composition/design, technical skill/difficulty and presentation.
At the end of the event, there is a closing ceremony open to the public at Fahrenheit 354. Awards are announced at 7 p.m. at Fahrenheit 354. Artists compete for best of show, first place, second place and viewer’s choice, which is chosen by the public.
For more information visit artswalkstoughton.com.