Street Art Saturday Returns

Street Art Saturday is back. It takes place this Saturday along Second Street in Downtown Portsmouth.

After you grab your fresh fruits and veggies from the Farmer’s Market on the Roy Rogers Esplanade, you can head over to Second Street to enjoy an eclectic selection of local artists and performers.

The first event launched last month and was well received by the community.

Created by Main Street Portsmouth (MSP) and a partnership with Charlie Haskins, the team aimed to create a reoccurring summer arts event that will continue through August.

“I do believe that this brought additional traffic to our downtown area,” explained Glenda Simmerling.

Simerling owns the Primitive Corner. She and her son participated in last month’s Street Art Saturday, and are enthusiastic about this Saturday’s turnout.

“We had a blast, I sat outside and painted and my son played guitar. The visitors like to see you doing it, it gives them encouragement and they can see works in the shops that are finished,”said Simmerling. “There were several purchases made that day that probably wouldn’t have happened without Street Art Saturday so it’s helping both the businesses and the artists. I think it’ll be even better this time and I think it’s really great. Anytime we have an activity down here and it’s a toss up on whether or not it’ll be successful and this is a really good venue for what’s here in Portsmouth.”

MSP Executive Director Joseph Pratt says Street Art Saturday is different from other area art events because it is exclusively local and is designed to promote business in downtown.

“Charlie Haskins and I weren’t sure of what to expect last month, since it was our first event for Street Art Saturday, but it went better than we imagined it would,” Pratt said. “We had people leaving and coming back with friends and we had a bit of a business increase for shops surrounding the artists. Since then, we’ve had more artists ask about participating and have booked more space. We are looking forward to seeing how this grows.”

Street Art Saturday will run the first Saturday of each month, between noon and 2 p.m. The artists will be playing or showcasing work at various staged locations on Second Street.

“Nearly all artists from the First Street Art Saturday are returning and we have even more committing to a spot. We have over ten artists currently planning on displaying work or performing,” explained Pratt. “We have even more than that, way more, actually, expressing interest in future events.”

You can find the showcases in front of Rivertown Antiques, Haskins House and Packrats, and at the gazebo at the Riverview Retirement Center.

“Our goal is to get people lined on both sides, with minimal gaps between artists. We also have a performer at all times of the event , some even playing at the same time at different locations,” said Pratt.

Interested artists may message Haskins House or Main Street Portsmouth on their Facebook pages. Main Street may also be reached at 740-464-0203 or [email protected].

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Glenda Simmerling painting outside her shop during last month’s Street Art Saturday. Simmerling painting outside her shop during last month’s Street Art Saturday.

By Ciara Conley

[email protected]

Reach Ciara Conley at 740-353-3101 ext 1932, Facebook “Ciara Conley – Daily Times,” and Twitter @PDT_Ciara

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