Normal Hays gallery walks are filled with the typically drab art that’s displayed in every season, but the Spring Art Walk was taken back by the youth of the city.
I’ve always used the art walk as an excuse to get my culture on and experience something in Hays you don’t often see – people and their art – but most of the time, I leave bored and disappointed a half hour into the experience, wondering who robbed the city of its shine.
This time was a change, one I was excited to embrace.
So, strapped with $20 in cash, chai latte in my veins and a buddy at my side, I set out looking for what I thought was going to be a disaster, but turned into a adventure.
Each building I walked into had something for everyone to appreciate. All the artists showed their hearts and souls in their creations, and that passion and hard work definitely shone through. It didn’t hurt that each artist was around to answer questions.
Even some of the art was being sold not only to feed the starving artists but also to help animals in need, with creations sold at White Chocolate to raise money for a new animal refuge, which made the night more meaningful.
We continued down the street, touring the different venues that displayed the works of local- and state-wide artists, running into one famous artist on the way, who showcased some unique creations from both him and others in the city. The vibe was that of a big-city gallery opening; everyone was cheerful, relaxed and excited to see the art and interact with the artists.
The same vibe could be felt in every building I stepped into. I always seemed to walk into automatic smiles and laughter from young and old who were generally enjoying the night.
With the weather, I’m sure the sunlight and warm temperatures made the night that much better, and with live music, free food and art galore, I didn’t want to see the evening end.
A broad mix of sculpture, ceramics, painting and photography filled the buildings of downtown Hays, and a pleased audience treaded up and down those streets with a sense of pride for such an accomplished city.
I’ve never been so impressed by the amazing display of talent, turnout from the general public and overall goody goodness that the art walk had to offer this spring. I just hope that the tradition can maintain this level of top-notch artists and community involvement.