GARDINER — Downtown Gardiner will be bustling with creativity as area artists join with small businesses to celebrate art and community during ArtWalk Gardiner from 5:30 to 9 p.m. Friday, May 3, according to a press release. In its ninth year, ArtWalk Gardiner was formally launched in the fall of 2005 by the Artdogsª studios and a handful of area artists who exhibited their work to a well-attended, appreciative audience.

Artwalk Gardiner is a nonjuried, member-run organization that accepts artists within a 20-mile radius of downtown Gardiner. Through regular exhibitions downtown, the mission is to increase community awareness and appreciation of the visual arts, and to encourage interaction between local artists and the public by providing artists with a supportive network that fosters the creative economy. In the years since its inception, ArtWalk Gardiner has drawn hundreds of people to this event, which takes place three times a year, in May, August and December.

In close collaboration with local businesses, dozens of area artists and artisans exhibit their work in studios, shops and storefronts along Water Street.

Participating artists include: Karen Adrienne, Nancy Barron, John Carnes, Matt Demers, Barbara Eldred, Ken Gross, Betty Heselton, Kala Ladenheim, Allison McKeen, Donna Parkinson, Ellen Roberts, Tanya Russell, Robert Saunders, Judith Schuppien, Jennifer Strode, Christine Sullivan, and a small group of student artists from the University of Maine at Augusta.

Hundreds of original works of art including paintings, drawings, photographs, fine art prints, sculptures and artist’s books will be available to view and purchase.

Monkitree will feature an exhibition of work by Ken Gross “Lost Maps of Norumbega,” and a selection of fine art prints by various artists will be on display at Circling the Square Fine Art Press. Free refreshments will be available at many of the venues.

Local business sponsors include Alex Parkers Steakhouse, Lisa’s Legit Burritos, Mainiac Brewing & Supply, Monkitree, SaraSara’s and Water St. Café. Several other businesses will host artists for the evening.

Circling the Square Fine Art Press, Water Street, will host a public reception for Gardiner’s 2013 “Art in the Park” grant recipient Susan Perrine at 4:30 p.m. Perrine’s award-winning sculptural installation, a woven twig sculpture consisting of locally sourced materials, reflects her connection to the natural environment. At 5 p.m., Perrine will give a brief presentation about her work, which will be unveiled in Johnson Park to kick off the ArtWalk at 5:30 p.m.

For more information, find us on Facebook, visit theartdogs.com/Artdogs/Artwalks.html or call 232-9383 or 582-6600.