Jacksonville’s Art Walk

The Navigator

On the first Wednesday of every month, in and around downtown Jacksonville’s Hemming Plaza, different genres of art and music mix to make a different experience on every street corner. An average of 5,000 people charge through city streets as artists from all corners of the city sing, dance, and display their talents.

Art Walk is a special attraction in Jacksonville. Artists ranging from fire throwers to photographers to jazz musicians set up shop across a 15-block radius within the heart of the downtown area.

“It is a great ability to get exercise and go wherever fits your mood,” said Chad Masters, Jacksonville resident.

People of all ages come to see the more than 30 galleries, museums, cultural venues, restaurants, bars, and businesses that participate in the event along with dozens of artists in Hemming Plaza.

“I come here for the culture of Jacksonville,” said Dana Carlson, junior. “I love it, I wish it was every week. It displays different talents that everyone has in Jacksonville. What is weird to someone might be inspiring to someone else.”

Local artists take advantage of the opportunity that Art Walk provides for their line of work.

“I come here often,” said Cynthia Sullivan, Jacksonville University alum and professional photographer. “I mainly use it for marketing and to get new clients. It works really well.”

Some artists were more peculiar than others. The barefoot one-man-band keying an accordion while jingling an assembly of bells on his leg welcomed guests who entered the old library.

Another artist sat on the corner creating an array of glasses, crosses, hearts, and birds from palm leaves.

“Jacksonville is an amazing community with so many artists and resources, it is a way to showcase the talents we have locally and also showcase what downtown has to offer,” said Katherine

Moore, marketing and events manager for Downtown Vision Inc. “Taking that and setting it downtown as an event is a good way to reach people and introduce them to all we have to offer.”

Moore said that Art Walk is a good way for businesses to bring people into the doors so that they can utilize the area to its maximum capability.

Besides the art, some people come to enjoy a night at on the town eating and socializing.

“It’s a great meeting place,” said Walid Dalal, Jacksonville resident. “Start with art and go from there.”