Marysville's first 'Art Walk' draws crowds to historic downtown

Karen Lyons paints a silk scarf at The Vintage Violet during Marysville
Karen Lyons paints a silk scarf at The Vintage Violet during Marysville's first 'Art Walk' on Sept. 13.
— image credit: Kirk Boxleitner

MARYSVILLE — The Marysville Arts Coalition and the Downtown Marysville Merchants Association drew an estimated total of more than 100 attendees to Third Street and its surrounding environs on the evening of Thursday, Sept. 13, by showcasing 10 area artists in their shops for Marysville's first "Art Walk."

Mary Kirkland hosted Glen Oberg, the watercolor painter whose work inspired her to take up the hobby three years ago, at Hilton Pharmacy for the three-hour Art Walk, and during the week leading up to the event. Both Kirkland and Oberg shared their appreciation for the Art Walk's turnout and the responses they each received from those who stopped by her store.

"It was rewarding and superb," Kirkland said. "They're great artists, and we were able to supply them with a nice venue. I was surprised by the number of visitors we saw."

"Everyone's been very enthusiastic and kind," said Oberg, who claimed that his renditions of landscapes, seascapes and street scenes don't require much effort on his part. "I try to make my paintings as simple as I can, while making sure they're readable. I like pictures with a lot of stuff in them."

"I've got bunch of Glen's work in my house," said Jim Ballew, the city of Marysville's Parks and Recreation director, who swung by Hilton Pharmacy to chat with Kirkland.

"His paintings just make you want to be in those places," Kirkland said. "If people buy his paintings here, they can hang them on their walls and be there whenever they want."

Collage artist Janet Myer and her host, Darlene Scott of Carr's Hardware, agreed that they'd benefitted from equally complimentary audiences.

"This gives us a chance to show off some of the talent we have right here in Marysville," Scott said. "Janet has exciting art that's been pretty well received. I just wish I could get to see the other stores' artists while we're doing this."

"This Art Walk has been great," Myer said. "We've gotten a lot of people coming through here, and we couldn't have done it without the merchants. I'm just really grateful to them, and I hope this event is only the beginning."

Myer explained that her collages are designed to be touchable, by utilizing layers of textured material sealed in varnish, and she also seeks to incorporate bright colors into her work as much as possible.

"I did one collage of a fishing village with raisins for the roofs and a hair net for the fishing nets," Myer said. "It adds a dimension to it. I choose colors from the opposite ends of the color wheel, so that they'll vibrate against each other. I like to make warm colors burn together in people's brains."

Over at The Vintage Violet, silk scarf artist Karen Lyons invited the shop's visitors to paint a sample scarf within a pattern she'd already outlined.

"I started in this field by painting on cotton for a quilt," Lyons said. "Cotton doesn't move like silk, though, and paints do totally different things on silk. It's like wearing watercolors."

Lyons praised the "Art Walk" as a fun activity that had already attracted enough budding artists to paint slightly less than half her silk scarf by nearly the midway point in the three-hour event.

"This a is a medium you can let other people share in," Lyons said, as she mixed some colors to fill in a few squares of the scarf's pattern herself. "You can't just let other people join in making other types of paintings with you, but this scarf will get raffled off to one of our Art Walk attendees, and whoever wins it will know that they created part of it."

Kirkland praised the Marysville Arts Council for their role in organizing the first "Art Walk" in Marysville, and echoed Marysville Arts Council President Beckye Randall's assessment that the event was a success sure to become a recurring happening in historic downtown Marysville.

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