Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center is transforming the city's downtown into an "art district for the day" for its 20th annual ArtWalk event.
This Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., art will be shared in booths spread across the downtown area, from the Bankhead Theater lobby and Plaza to McLeod Street, and Stockmen's Park. The featured artists will be clustered in the parks and sidewalks and includes the Livermore Art Association Carnegie Gallery on Third and J streets.
The event celebrates the ways the arts bring the community together in a showcase that features handmade and original works by more than 200 artists, as well as live music, performances, hands-on crafts and community art projects, organizers said in a statement.
"Name the kind of art and you are going to find it at this event," said artist and Livermore resident Meghana Mitragotri, who will be participating in the ArtWalk for the second year. "This is one of Livermore's premium art events that everybody looks forward to. People from all around the Bay Area and beyond come out to this event."
Mitragotri is a watercolor artist who draws inspiration from nature, including countryside landscapes, flowers and birds.
Originally from India, Mitragotri said she came to the U.S. in 2014 and to California in 2017, and that part of her immersion into the local community was becoming involved in the art scene. She perfected her craft and exhibited at various events and venues throughout the Tri-Valley and the greater Bay Area, including Museum on Main, Harrington Gallery of Firehouse Arts Center, Alameda County Fairgrounds and juried shows at Lindsay Dirkx Brown Gallery and City Hall in San Ramon, Bankhead Theater in Livermore and Blackhawk Plaza in Danville.
Mitragotri said that at this year's ArtWalk she will have a variety of pieces available, including many fall- and holiday-themed works for sale along with cards, bookmarks and other items featuring her original art.
Another local artist, Julia Minasian, told the Weekly that this year's upcoming ArtWalk marks her third or fourth year participating. She also specializes in watercolors and she owns an organic cotton textile company called SIP (which stands for Seriously Imbibed Products). She prints her original artwork on various household items, including aprons, kitchen towels, napkins, tote bags and even face masks.
"I just love (ArtWalk); it's a very well-organized show, the people are sweet and they really support the arts," Minasian said. "Livermore is a really fun venue to go to."
She said that there is an appreciation for and emphasis on art in Livermore that she doesn't always see at public art shows. For example, last year at ArtWalk -- which was significantly scaled down in attendance due to COVID-19 -- she said a customer paid her double the asking price for one of her works and then encouraged other people to visit her booth that day and later shared a post on social media about Minasian's work.
"I'll never forget that," Minasian said, adding, "there's a lot of kindness in Livermore that I don't necessarily find everywhere."
In addition to the art that will be on display for viewing and for purchase this year at ArtWalk, there will be some interactive activities, including a mini-workshop to make art projects from recycled materials led by artist Nana-Dictta Graves and Way Up Art & Frame will offer the opportunity to experiment with art materials, according to event organizers.
Live music performances will be presented throughout the day by Meredith McHenry, Andrew Mathers, Matt Finders and Friends, youth jazz band Element 116 and Tom Rosefield, among others. Big White House Winery and John Evan Cellars will also be pouring wine during the event.
ArtWalk Livermore supports the efforts of the Bothwell Arts Center. The Bothwell has served as an arts incubator since 2006, offering affordable classroom, rehearsal, performance, event and studio rental space for artists, musicians, actors and others with a cultural arts focus, organizers said.
More information and maps for ArtWalk activities are available at LivermoreArts.org.