Ask ten people what their favorite event in Findlay is and I guarantee at least 3 say ArtWalk, and for good reason. This laid back and fun event takes place in Downtown Findlay twice a year – the first Fridays in May and November and offer a slew of things to do during the course of the night. From live music throughout Downtown to art demonstrations to gallery openings, there is plenty to do! If this is your first time participating in ArtWalk – no worries! We have you covered with a step-by-step guide.
Step 1: Plan Ahead
A rookie mistake is to go into ArtWalk blind – there is no need for that! The Arts Partnership creates a great guide to the event, with a map and a list of all the participating locations. With this map you can plan your route so you know which locations you definitely want to visit. Don’t have a printer? Head over to the Visit Findlay Welcome Center, 123 E. Main Cross St., and pick up a printed guide.
Step 2: Arrive Early
ArtWalk is a large event, it takes place all throughout Downtown. For the best chance to complete the entire map you will want to arrive as early as possible. The event officially runs from 5 p.m. – 9 p.m. and you could spend four full hours going in and out of every participating location, and that is without shopping and having dinner. So make the most out of your time and give yourself enough time to visit all the artists, eat until full, and shop until you drop!
Step 3: See as many artists as possible
We know there are plenty of opportunities to see artists and their work during ArtWalk, but the trick is to see as many as possible. Luckily, there are ways to make best use of your time.
- Don’t miss The Jones Building and Findlay Art League – The Jones Building (#12 on the guide, on W. Crawford Street) houses many workshops for local artists and many of them will be opening their doors and giving you a peek into where they work and what they’ve been working on. The Jones Building is up a flight of stairs – so keep that in mind, especially if you have a stroller (I made that mistake during my first ArtWalk!). Right next to The Jones Building is the Findlay Art League (#11 on the guide), will be hosting their Spring Juried Show. This space is beautiful and the perfect place to begin your ArtWalk evening.
- Utilize Awakening Minds Art’s Drop and Date – My children love ArtWalk, it really is fun for the whole family. But, some of the spaces aren’t conducive to strollers or little fingers (and, let’s be honest, their little legs can slow you down!) so dropping them off at Drop and Date (#25) is perfect for all of us. Drop and Date offers children a supervised art class from 6 – 8 p.m. for $10 per potty-trained child. Before and after Drop and Date you can still visit some spots the kids will love, like the Marathon Center for the Performing Arts featuring the Liberty Benton a Capella group at 5:30 (#3), the cake art at Jen’s Buggy Whip Cake Art Studio (#13), St. Andrew’s Methodist Church (#19), and the Millstream Art Plaza (#20) to view canvas art and woodworking.
- ArtWalk and Multi-task, shop while viewing art – It isn’t just galleries that will be open during ArtWalk, many of your favorite Downtown shops are opening their doors to artists and presenting displays of their own. Rieck’s Gallery (#26), RooBarb Studios (#30), Trends! on Main (#22), The Dressing Room Boutique (#17), and Objects of Desire Artful Living (#2) are just a few of the locations where you can shop while taking in the displays and live music!
Step 4: Participate, if you want!
ArtWalk has plenty to see, but it also has things to do as well. If you want to get in on the art action, don’t hesitate – jump right in! Many locations offer hands-on opportunities for you to participate in. I already mentioned Awakening Minds Art for the kids, during their Drop and Date kids will create a masterpiece to bring home. Coffee Amici (#8) will be hosting their weekly Open Mic Night, so sign up and prepare your pipes to put on a show. Did you know Painters’ Pottery (#28) has reopened in Downtown Findlay? Head to their workshop and paint your own pieces, which is fun for everyone in your party. Sign up yourself or your kids for an art class at the Gaslight Gallery Art Studio (#14) during the month of May and June, plus enter the drawing for a free class!
Step 5: Enjoy Dinner, and possibly a show, in Downtown!
When you’re planning ahead you will want to make plans for dinner, but don’t make them too early! You won’t want to cut into the time you have to see the galleries and artists. Also taking place in Downtown Findlay during ArtWalk is the Hancock Park District’s Runway: Posh Repurpose for Parks showing a type of art all in its own. Runway: Posh Repurpose for Parks is featuring 24 fashions all from local artists that created their pieces using plastic bags, bottles, cans, and other items that were destined for the landfill. This event will also have raffle items and hors d’oeuvres; tickets are still available! This event begins at 7, so you can enjoy ArtWalk prior to the show.
Step 6: Head home with plans to return on Saturday
Yes, ArtWalk is just a one-day event, but the fun continues! Many Downtown businesses will be participating in a Downtown Open House through Saturday. Participating businesses are hosting extended hours, special promotions, and giveaways; See all the businesses participating here!
ArtWalk is just the first of a busy outdoor event season for The Arts Partnership. Make plans to attend more of their events throughout the summer, like Boogie on Main on June 1, Riverside Wine Festival on June 23, Feast on the Street on August 4, and their weekly lunchtime outdoor concert series, Courtyard Concerts, beginning on June 12!