Ocean Springs is welcoming the first event to herald the arrival of the fall festival season. The 29th Art Walk will be 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 5, throughout downtown.
More than 40 artists will show and demonstrate their works in a partnership of creative commerce. Area businesses host these artists so they will be set up either inside or outside the shops. The merchants association members decided to go on and hold the event after the Ocean Springs Chamber of Commerce-Main Street-Tourism Bureau asked if they would still have Art Walk this year.
“We felt it would be safe because the artists are spread around downtown. Our participants are close to 50 to 60 percent less than what we usually have, so it will be a smaller show,” said Katie Hinkel of Lee Tracy, one of the event organizers.
Most of the retail shops along Washington Avenue and Government Street were reopened by May after Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves loosened the shelter-in-place orders that had been in effect since March because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The business owners have acted responsibly in their interactions by employees wearing masks and providing hand sanitization stations. Some owners are not participating in Art Walk this year, and others see it as a way to boost what a crazy year we’ve had,” Hinkel said.
While the participating artists will be set up in front of or inside the sponsoring businesses, others will be in parking lots. The tents in The Cornerstone Group parking lot on Government Street will be spaced out more than normal, she said. There will be no vendor tents at the L&N Depot parking lot where the Ocean Springs Fresh Market is held each Saturday from 9 a.m.-noon. Instead, artists will be set up at a new location this year – at the Fallo-Pleasant parking lot on Government Street near the new food truck lot. Hinkel said she plans to have a solo musician perform at the new location.
The people who do attend Art Walk are asked to wear face masks, practice distancing, and follow the crowd and sanitizing requirements of each retail store.
There will be no street closures in downtown, so people are asked to stay on the sidewalks and observe the traffic.
“This is a chance to give back to local artists because so many of their events have been canceled,” Hinkel said. “People are hungry for normalcy. Art Walk is a good boost at the end of summer because people are ready to get in the fall season.”
For more information, go to www.artwalkos.com. The participating businesses include:
- Blue Merle Bar – JW Coastal Wood Turning
- Buddyrow – Nickell Templin Pottery
- Chandeleur Outfitters – Altalod Pottery Studio
- Charisma – Wood & Wine Design Co.
- Cornerstone parking lot – Cosgrove & Lewis Handmade Soaps, Backwater Studios, Henna by Sabbah, Custom Jewelry by Carol Ann, Daniel Wilson and Saltwater Kisses
- Fallo-Pleasant Parking Lot – Cathy Fail Children’s Hair Bows, Mississippi Candle Co. and Ribbon Tail Wreaths
- Glory Bound – Unique Container Gardens
- Hillyer House – Kris Byrd and Hot Glass by Jerry Spehr
- Island Outfitters – Sherry’s Touch of Heart
- J. Laurie Shoe Boutique – Jensa Jo’s Jewels
- Lee Tracy – Hometown Spirit Company
- Lilly Marie Boutique – Karah M. Younger
- Love, Ivy Boutique – Shelly Hill Art
- Miners Toy Store – Mann Kettle Corn
- Moxie Shop – Wildflower Lane Designs
- My Happy Place Gallery – All artists in the gallery are featured
- Poppy’s – Cindy Cochran
- Realizations – Susan Ruddiman with Ocean Springs Camp Run-a-Mud Pottery
- Sugar & Spice Children’s Apparel – Threaded Cork
- The Art House – All the works of the 25 artist members at 10 percent off
- The Beer House – Kings Pottery by Mark King
- The Office Lounge – The Stand Juice Bar & Company
- Walter Anderson Museum of Art – Marilyn Goff
- Wild Flier – Red Creek Studios
- Wood & Wine Design Co. – Britany Oliphant and Bayou Betty
Susan Ruddiman is retired after more than 42 years of working as an editor/writer in the newsroom. She still writes, works part-time in retail in downtown Ocean Springs, and makes pottery in her backyard studio, Ocean Springs Camp Run-a-Mud Pottery.