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Downtown Longview set for ArtWalk

By Angela Ward award@news-journal.com
July 27, 2011 at 10 p.m.

Visitors to this evening's ArtWalk will have a chance to watch a sculptor, as well as other artists, at work.

The event usually features artists in the midst of creation in addition to their finished products, said Shannon Gilliland. She is the owner of Shannon's Beading Basket and one of the organizers of the event.

"Javier Campuzano will be working on some of his sculptures during the ArtWalk and, he's really incredibly good," Gilliland said. "There's nobody else like him in East Texas."

Other artists who will be working during ArtWalk include painters, glassblowers and mosaic creators. This year's event has been scheduled to serve as a sort of opening evening to the Great Texas Balloon Race this weekend, she said.

"We feel that by having it just before the balloon race, we'll draw more of a crowd and provide an opportunity for folks in town for that event to experience another aspect of our community," Gilliland said.

About 40 artists will be on hand to demonstrate their talents or talk with people who have an interest in their work. Most of the venues participating in the ArtWalk offer light refreshments as well as a chance to view a variety of East Texas artworks.

The Gregg County Historical Museum is getting into the act by hosting an open house featuring its East Texas Radio Days exhibit during the ArtWalk. Vintage automobiles from the Ark-La-Tex Packard Club will also be parked in front of the museum.

"This is a great way to explore downtown Longview, so we really encourage everybody to come out and find out what it's all about," Gilliland said. "I'm always happy to see people and discuss art."

The ArtWalk takes place along the sidewalks and inside buildings in the downtown area, from 4 to 7 p.m. today. Shannon's Beading Basket is located at 100 W. Tyler and the historical museum at 214 N. Fredonia. For more information, call (903) 242-9944. There is no charge to attend, but artworks will be available for purchase.



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