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Artwalk provides weekly look at downtown's gallery shows


Wildcat File Photo
Arizona Daily Wildcat

Hotel Congress will be one of many sites hosting the Thursday Night Artwalk taking place tonight in downtown Tucson. Vivian Yazon's oil paintings hang behind Dortothy Massalski as she sits writing her Ph.D. dissertation.

By Anna Roe
Arizona Daily Wildcat,
February 3, 2000
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Although decorated street corners, downtown murals and campus-area statues are within walking distance of many Tucsonans, not everybody takes the time to glimpse inside the city's privately owned galleries.

But a local group offers a way for art rookies and veterans to view gallery shows in Thursday Night Artwalk.

The Artwalk, sponsored by the Tucson Arts District Partnership, takes place on the first and third Thursdays of the month, alternating galleries each week.

The evenings start off with a reception at the designated meeting place, or "hub location." Tonight, the "hub" is the Tucson Arts District Partnership's office, in the Bank Star building at 4 E. Congress St.

Regina Heitzer-Momaday, an Artwalk coordinator, says this night is beneficial for all participants.

"Thursday Night Artwalks are for artists and galleries and also the public," Heitzer-Momaday said. "Since it can be intimidating going in galleries alone, this makes it easier going as a group for people. It makes it more of a social scene, where people can talk not only with each other, but with the artists as well."

Nora Kuehl, from the Dinnerware Gallery, 135 E. Congress St., said the Artwalk is a good experience for art novices.

"I think the Artwalk is a nice option for people who don't go to the galleries because they receive personal attention, which can be helpful," Kuehl said.

On display at Dinnerware is a collection of large-scale ceramic sculptures by Gary Benna. Tonight, Benna will discuss his works with people touring the gallery. Several large canvas murals by guest artists will also be on display.

Daryl Childs, of the DC Harris Gallery, 41 S. Sixth Ave., sees this event as supporting businesses as well as visitors.

"Anything that will make more people aware of the galleries is good," he said. "I'm trying to become established as a business, and the Artwalk helps that along."

Childs, who has participated in the Artwalk for two years, will display his show, "Substance and Shadow," which includes figurative paintings and monoprints by Joe Forkan and assembled objects by Herb Stratford.

Scott Baker, of Metroform Limited, 27 N. Stone Ave., agreed that the Artwalk is inviting to people unfamiliar with the downtown area.

In addition to the few artists on display, Baker will also feature his own items.

"I'm a furniture maker who can custom make whatever the customer wants, but what will be on display is going to be the stuff I like," Baker said.

The furniture on display will lean toward the high-tech, contemporary-modern style.

Items in Metroform Limited are all for sale, except the large pieces of furniture, which people will have to order.

The tour will be led by docents and will also be pointing out public art along the way. The length is approximately one mile, and people should plan to be outside for the majority of the tour.

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