ArtWalk Ventura, Ventura County’s weekend celebration of the area’s thriving arts community, returns for its 20th year on July 20-21. ArtWalk Ventura has long been a signature event of Ventura, drawing thousands of cultural tourists from all over California.
The two-day event will be held from noon to 8 p.m. Saturday, July 20 and from noon to 5 p.m. Sunday, July 21. It will take to the streets of Ventura’s historic Downtown and Westside Cultural District as venues will be transformed into high-end art galleries and studios for patrons’ viewing pleasure.
Artwork of more than 500 esteemed regional artists, including this year’s Artist of Distinction Gerd Koch, will be on display throughout the weekend.
New to ArtWalk’s free, self-guided tour is the addition of PODS Mini Galleries, with 16 PODS containers being converted into mini art galleries, each one uniquely designed by local artists. The transformed PODS containers, generously provided by Steve Yapp, owner of Your Local PODS Service Provider, will be placed throughout Downtown and Ventura’s West End, connecting the mini galleries with more than two dozen traditional galleries.
“The PODS Galleries are a great addition that brings an entire new dimension to ArtWalk,” said Mary Perez, ArtWalk Ventura organizer and owner of Vita Art Center. “The creative ingenuity of the artists is exciting to see as they will have a new medium to explore, transforming the storage containers from plain white boxes to artwork, art installations and mini art studios.”
Kicking off the illustrious affair will be a special multimedia benefit event hosted by Focus on the Masters on Friday, July 19. “Convergence” will feature an electrifying performance by Ventura County Ballet Company’s DAnce ART. The ballet ensemble will dance to live classical music performed by Grammy-nominated composer Miguel del Aguila and master violinist Yue Deng, as projections of paintings by Koch bathe the dancers in expressionistic color and texture.
Also new to ArtWalk Ventura this year, under the generous sponsorship of the Ventura Auto Center, will be a street festival with live music, art, vendors and an eco-friendly automobile display on Thompson Boulevard, outside the WAV, located at 175 S. Ventura Ave. This free, family-friendly festival is open to the public and being held in conjunction with the WAV, a state-of-the-art artist community that offers affordable living and work space for more than 80 artists from 21 countries, who are painters, sculptors, dancers, musicians, writers, actors, filmmakers and more.
ArtWalk Ventura attendees also will have the opportunity to participate in Bowl Hop, in which they may purchase a $25 beautifully hand-crafted artistic bowl. In return, patrons will receive a punch card to “hop” around to fine restaurants in Ventura and sample delicious cuisine. All proceeds from Bowl Hop will benefit Project Understanding, a 501(c)(3) charity that provides hope by developing and directing resources for the purpose of transforming lives and community through justice, mercy and compassion.
“We are always excited to bring this sensational event to life every year as we get to share the fantastic work crafted by our vibrant arts community,” Perez said. “ArtWalk is a great way for our community to praise and appreciate the stunning artwork these world-class artists residing Ventura County can produce.”
Click here for more information about ArtWalk Ventura.
— Alicia Rutledge is a publicist representing ArtWalk Ventura.