Each year on the last Friday in April, the Arts Council of SWLA and the City of Lake Charles brings Spring Art Walk to downtown Lake Charles. The event concentrates over 100 of the region’s visual artists into a few square blocks of the Charlestown Cultural District as a way to draw the public into downtown businesses while supporting the local art scene.
Coffee shops, salons, restaurants, and even vacant buildings are turned into pop-up galleries for the evening, and the 700 and 800 blocks of Ryan Street, which are closed to traffic, are full of live music, food trucks, the annual Art Wars, and an outdoor art market. Venues also offer drink specials, demonstrations, after parties, and giveaways.
The popular Art Wars challenges ten teams of artists to create a mural in one hour in front of a live audience, and the public chooses the winning team by depositing tips into their favorite team’s tip jar. Mediums and styles range from ink and brush to traditional oil and acrylic will be used as the audience gets to watch the entire creation process. Local artist Danielle Nester (pictured left), a first-time Spring Art Walk participant, won the 2014 Art Wars challenge.
Participating venues for 2014 were: Cedar Chest Antiques, HEIST Wine Bar, Luna Live, the Art Shop, Salon Lindsay, the former SignKo space, Before I Die Public Art Wall, Ashley Foret Dees Immigration Law, Stellar Beans, the Yoga Center, the Children’s Museum, Carnegie Memorial Library, the Charleston Hotel, Pujo Street Café, Historic 1911 City Hall, the Frame House Gallery, and the Louisiana Market. Maps of participating locations and artists are at each venue during the event.
Check out the video of the 2014 Art Wars challenge by Parker Brand Creative!
Spring Art Walk 2014 was presented by the Arts Council of SWLA and the City of Lake Charles and is sponsored by Tobacco Free Living, ASI Office System, Stine, Parker Brand Creative, and Thrive Magazine. For details on the Spring Art Walk’s venues, artists, and activities, visit www.artsandhumanitiesswla.org or call (337) 439-2787.