Annual arts festival on tap for the weekend

NASHUA — With this being the 15th anniversary of City Arts Nashua’s ArtWALK, the annual celebration of the city’s vibrant art scene will be full of fun activities, entertainment, food and art set up all through downtown Nashua.

“We are looking forward to our 15th year, it’s a milestone year,” said event organizer Wendy Fischer during a recent interview. “It’s such a grass roots effort. We’re looking forward to seeing the many artists and showcasing the venues throughout Nashua.”

During the weekend, artista and performers will gather at a plethora of locations throughout the city, including The Picker Artists Collaborative on Pine Street, ArtHub and other offices located at 30 Temple Street, 201 Main Street – the location for the future Performance Arts Center, The Nashua Public Library, The Hunt Memorial Building, St. Joseph Hospital Atrium, The Telegraph lobby at 110 Main St., Nashua Historical Society, at 5 Abbott Street, among other great locations.

With quite a few new things added to this year’s celebration, individuals of all ages will be able to participate, as there will be a kick-off celebration from 6 to 8 p.m. on Friday evening, a Mini Psychic from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and the KidsWALK!, which will take place both Saturday and Sunday throughout the day.

With Friday’s Kick-off celebration, held at St. Joseph Hospital’s atrium, there will be live entertainment, art-making, food, beverages and a new ArtHub exhibit which is part of the hospital’s new initiative, Healing through the Arts.

On Saturday, the Hunt building will host the psychic fair, which will be a smaller version of the psychic fair that City Arts Nashua host in the Spring. The next Psychic Fair will the the nonprofit’s tenth annual iteration.

“We do a psychic fair in the spring, we’re doing a smaller version of that we are excited about, because that helps showcase local talent in that area,” Fisher said.

“It helps to promote our spring event,” she continued, “and honestly with this time of year I think everyone’s into having their readings done.”

As the organization continues to get younger members of the art community involved with the citywide event, they are also introducing their KidWALK! with activities and throughout the downtown venues.

This year we have created a bigger experience for kids and teens, and families in general. Some KidsWalk! activities will be at the Hunt Building, others will be at Picker Artists, Nashua Public Library, and other venues downtown.

“We’re really looking to bring more families and a lot more younger artists to this year’s Artwalk,” Fisher said.

Part of the KidsWALK! is the “What is AMAZING?” art exhibit in the Telegraph’s lobby, which will showcase submissions made by artists ranging from ages 5 to 18. Entries for the exhibit are still being accepted until Oct. 17, and all participants will be entered into a raffle donated by Wild Salamander Creative Arts Center.

“We’re looking for a children’s viewpoint on what is amazing,” said one of the KidsWALK! organizers, Rebecca Frederickson, a little over a week ago.

“I’m really curious to see what the kids think is amazing,” she added. “The theme is pretty open and it’s pretty broad.”

The event will have a nonstop flow of entertainment throughout the venues, with artists and performers including Pamela Hines, Pope Pickin’, Bitter Pill, Gate City Karaoke, Fake Leather Jacket, Two for Dinner, Robert Allwarden, Blue String Marionettes, Nashua Theatre Guild and Actorsingers and Sunflower Fusion, as well as others showcasing their talents and abilities.

Other event highlights include the Artisan Fair on Saturday at the Nashua Historical Society, featuring a “Haunted Hikes of New Hampshire” book talk with author Marianne O’Connor and a demonstration of many different arts and crafts by the League of New Hampshire Craftsmen at their 98 Main Street gallery both days of the event.

Also on Saturday, at Bicentennial Park, MakeIt Labs will host hands-on creative activities and Eric Escobar will make his giant ArtWALK mural at 30 Temple Street.

With so many events going on throughout the city, Fischer said the event’s purpose is to foster art and culture throughout the community.

“We’re trying to build a community in the downtown showcasing the arts and what Nashua has available in terms of creativity,” Fisher said.

“Nashua just has so much to offer in regards to the arts,” she continued, “and I think that it’s interesting; it’s a showcase for the talent that is out there.”

The event is being made possible by its sponsors, Allegra Boverman Photography, Elizabeth Grady Nashua, R.J. Finlay & Co., St. Joseph Hospital, The New Hampshire State Council on the Arts, Greater Nashua Chamber of Commerce, Nashua Arts Commission, The Telegraph, Great American Downtown and The Nash Foundation, all of whom are participating in the event in one form or another.

Mathew Plamondon can be reached at 594-1244 or mplamondon@nashuatelegraph.com, @telegraph_MatP.