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Art Walk Festival and Marketplace

As one of the largest street festivities in Canada celebrating the visual arts is the Art Walk Festival and Marketplace that happens in Edmonton.

ArtwalkWhyte Avenue Murals (WhAM) and the Paint Spot, a local art supply store and gallery, coordinate the festival that happens annually over three days in July. Seeking to be different than a gallery setting, the event aims to make art visible while providing a venue for the larger public to interact directly with established and emerging artists.

Old Strathcona, an historically rich and picturesque neighbourhood provides the Festival's setting. Streets along the area are colourfully lined with makeshift studios for artists and spectators to occupy themselves in. 

Artists are allotted a particular space in which they have the opportunity to produce work in the outdoors. Passersby can pick up and examine handmade pots, sit down and have a silly portrait of them made, chat, or simply stand and watch artists work.

Studios are assigned based on the match between a particular artist's work and different store merchants' needs. Outside of a store specializing in street and dance culture, a graffiti artist may be found. Ceramic artisans may be placed in front of home decor shops.

ArtwalkA range of visual treasures can be found at the Festival. Painters, sculptors, glassmakers, cartoonists, wood carvers, sketch artists, Aboriginal artists, fibre artists, airbrush artists, and others have been hosted in past Art Walks.

The Festival's intent is to share the creative process by allowing artists to make and exhibit their work in public view, but it also serves to stimulate movement in and out of stores, assisting the myriad of independent businesses to continue thriving. With the upcoming festival being the eighth, Art Walk continues to the artistic momentum that Old Strathcona summers and early falls are known for.

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