The Jan. 17 event kicks off what will be a Third Thursday of every month event, held from 5-10 p.m.
According to ReNeWest organizers Sarah Brewer and Naomi Dyer, both Montrose artists, the Interactive Art Crawl will bring music, drama, fine art and the spoken word – complete with a crowd-pleasing “festival feel” – to the business district west of Townsend Avenue.
“Our mission is to try and incorporate all the arts, drama, music [and] visible two-dimensional and three-dimensional arts into one specific area,” Brewer said.
Brewer and Dyer, who grew up in Montrose, reconnected recently, when Brewer returned to their hometown.
“I realized when she came back that I don’t know any artists here our age,” Dyer said, adding, “There has to be lots.”
And so ReNeWest was born.
Each participating business will host an artist, creating a “pop-up” gallery within its space where artwork will be displayed and sold, with the artist on-hand to answer questions. The long city blocks gave organizers the idea of making the event one large walking, talking art experience.
Pickled Painter, Amazing Glaze, Chow Down Pet Supplies, Riddled Raven, 2 Rascals Brewery, Amelia’s and Papa Wheelie’s bike shop are among the participating businesses.
“This is exciting. There is a younger community here, and they’re more interactive with their art and that’s exciting,” said Montrose Downtown Development Authority Executive Director Scott Shine. Shine went on to praise the duo for the event’s “focus on West Main,” describing it as “a prime area for redevelopment,” and their event for offering a wide range of Montrose artists an opportunity for interaction – amongst themselves, and with the public – that’s different from more traditional art gatherings.
“We’re trying to make it as easy as possible for artists and businesses both to be involved,” said Brewer, “but also to make it as cheap as possible. If there are interested artists out there, they can contact us and we’ll find a spot for them,” she added.
Participating businesses are encouraged to decorate their storefronts with lights (the inaugural ReNeWest’s the theme is “Light It Up!”).
To that end, a Bike Light Competition will be held at Papa Wheelie’s Bike Shop, at 6 p.m., decorating bikes with lights that then are gathered for a rally. A Lamp Revamp Silent Auction will be conducted throughout the evening, at all participating businesses; proceeds from the sale of the artistically decorated old and antique lamps will fund further ReNeWest Interactive Art Crawls.
The two women are developing concepts for future ReNeWest events, which include inviting participation from local students in arts and theater programs, and reaching out to the surrounding region for more support and artists. They hope to work with the City of Montrose in the future, to open up even more spaces, along West Main, for future events.
For information, visit the Interactive Art Crawl Facebook page at: www.facebook.com/RenewestInteractiveArts.