By Tara Roberts
For Inland 360
If you love any of the things that people tend to love about Moscow, youll love Artwalk. Its got the bustling energy of the Moscow Farmers Market, with less watercress and more watercolors. Its a showcase of local artistic talent, like youll find on the Renaissance Fair stage or at a reading at BookPeople. It pulls together multiple corners of the community, like lunchtime at the co-op or a sunny afternoon in Friendship Square.
But its also a lot of activity crammed into a few short blocks and hours. If this is your first time navigating the colorful chaos, heres a quick guide to a successful visit to Artwalk 2018 on Friday, June 15:
Strategize before the big day. Many artwalk exhibits will be up for weeks, so you dont need to see them all on the big day. Use the handy artwalk guide available online and at the Moscow Chamber of Commerce and participating businesses to identify exhibits and special features, as well as artists or media that pique your interest. (Theres also no shame in targeting places that might have extra good snacks.) Its fun to just wander and enjoy, but youre on a tight timeline or have other constraints -- like kiddos in tow -- map out a plan for the evening so you dont miss anything.
Go early. Much of the fun begins at 3 p.m. If youve got a flexible schedule, head downtown before the after-work crowds come out in force. If you must come with those crowds, consider it an opportunity to cultivate the art of patience and meet new friends while waiting in line.
Park and walk. If youre able to, walk from home or park on the outskirts of downtown. Youll get a little exercise, avoid traffic and save the primo parking spaces for folks who need them most.
Dont miss out-of-the-way stops. Artwalk doesnt just happen downtown. Whether on event day or later, be sure to check out exhibits scattered across town at places like Aspen Park nursing facility, the Palouse-Clearwater Environmental Institute and Alpine Vision Center in the Palouse Mall.
Talk to the artists. Many artists hang out at their exhibit locations during the event, so be sure to say hi and give a quick word of appreciation, or ask them about their work if time allows. Remember that artwalk is the first public exhibit for some artists, so theyll be exhilarated to hear how their art surprised or moved you. More experienced artists are full of good stories, too.
Take note of work you love. See a photo that fills you with joy? Cant stop examining a fascinating painting? Love the groove of a musical act? Write down the artists name, snag a business card or web address, and consider purchasing a print or CD. Supporting local artists keeps the spirit of artwalk alive all year round.
Tara Roberts is a writer and mom who lives in Moscow. Her favorite Artwalk exhibitor is her grandpa, watercolor and scratchboard artist Robert Karr.