AUGUSTA — Art and artists will be in, and in some cases on, downtown buildings this evening for Augusta’s first-ever art walk.

The event will feature the work of some 30 artists, on display at 14 downtown sites, including businesses, apartments and, in one instance, projected onto the entire exterior wall of a large building.

Several forms of visual art will be projected onto the side of 320 Water St., the former Peachey Building, on the southern end of Water Street, including photographs, animation and video. The event, “Light on Water,” is a joint effort of the University of Maine at Augusta and the Augusta Downtown Alliance.

Jesse Patkus, co-chairman of the Augusta Downtown Alliance’s Design Committee, said the event’s name reflects both the theme of revitalization taking place downtown and the location on Water Street, next to the Kennebec River. Artists were asked to reflect the “Light on Water” theme in their work on display as well.

“It’s open to interpretation,” Patkus said of the theme. “Artists took it both ways, as well.”

The event runs from 4 to 8 p.m. Maps are available on the Augusta Downtown Alliance’s Facebook page and at each of the downtown event sites, which will be marked with luminaries — battery powered candles — outside.

“People can expect to see what a wonderful community we have here and see a variety of artists using a variety of mediums set up in unique venues,” Patkus said. “And they can see the benefit of some of the collaborative relationships being built downtown between Augusta Downtown Alliance, the city of Augusta, and UMA.”

Larry Fleury, president of the Augusta Downtown Alliance, said they hope the event will encourage the growth of the arts downtown and bring people there as well.

Some sites will have live music, while others, such as CJ’s Pizza, The Gin Mill and Downtown Diner, will have snacks.

There also will be performing artists such as Susan Bickford, a University of Maine at Augusta art faculty member and an organizer of the event, who will treat spectators to a fire-spinning dance. “That should be interesting to see,” Fleury said.

UMA architecture students will have works on display, at the Olde Federal Building, including their proposed new designs for the planned reconfiguration of the city’s downtown Market Square.

Fleury said the Augusta Downtown Alliance, formed to encourage revitalization of downtown, has filed for federal nonprofit status and is active in planning events meant to bring people and activity back to what was once the cultural heart of the city.

“This is not some stodgy group sitting around,” he said. “The vitality, the energy of the young people of this group is just incredible. They are rediscovering a really nice downtown. It’s palpable, a feeling I haven’t felt in years.”

Keith Edwards — 621-5647

[email protected]

 


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