Westbrook debuts pop-up art walk Saturday

A pop-up art walk taking place this Saturday in downtown Westbrook could test the waters for an eventual monthly event, says organizer Andy Curran. 

The “Paper City Pop-Up” art walk, on Saturday, May 14, will showcase multiple pieces from 13 artists working in southern Maine, with the work hanging at seven creative downtown businesses. Most of the businesses are relatively new to Westbrook.

The event is organized by Westbrook Arts & Culture, a recently revitalized organization devoted to celebrating the arts in Westbrook. Curran, the president of the organization, said last week that he and other members wanted to collaborate with area businesses to help bring attention to both downtown business and arts in Westbrook. 

“Many people don’t know about what we have down here,” he said last week. 

Caren Michel, a Westbrook artist and former Westbrook Arts & Culture president, agrees that the arts community has blossomed in Westbrook, but said now the city has to draw attention to itself. 

“I think Westbrook folks care a great deal about the quality of life here and are recognizing the part that the arts can play in that,” she said Tuesday. “The challenge now is to get the word out to let people know all the great things that are happening right here in Westbrook.” 

The pop-up art walk will run from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, and includes new businesses such as Mast Landing Brewing Co. and Black Dinah Chocolatiers.

Continuum for Creativity, located next to the former Saccarappa Art Collective spot on Main Street, will host a reception for the artists, shop owners and public from 4-7 p.m., overlapping with the art walk to provide information for those roaming downtown.

Michel said this week that the event is a “good sign” for Westbrook, with local businesses working with the arts community, developing a partnership.

Westbrook Arts & Culture was revived in late 2014 after fizzling out a few years earlier. It originally began in 2007, and a year later, a Fourth Friday Art Walk was hosted by the group. Curran said the previous art walk eventually lost steam, but he believes it could be revived in downtown Westbrook if the level of interest continues to grow. 

“Art All Around,” a program led by the Maine Center for Creativity, will also bring an art installation project to various downtown locations in July, most likely including Blue Note Park, a portion of Main Street sidewalk and a section of the riverwalk. The installations are currently being created by volunteers and students at My Place Teen Center, the Westbrook Community Center and CAFE at the Dana Warp Mill.  

Other locations displaying artwork for this Saturday’s art walk include Forte Hair Salon, which recently moved to 816 Main St., Catbird Creamery, Continuum for Creativity, Swallowtail Music and the Walker Memorial Library.

 

“Steppin’ Out,” a monotype with woodcut, linoleum block and hand coloring by artist Michael Torlen, will be one of dozens of works on display next week during “Paper City Pop-Up,” a one-time art walk set for downtown Westbrook. Artists are hanging work this week in various locations in preparation for the event.