ACID walk showcases art


It’s been a week, but people are still talking about the latest event to hit Portsmouth streets. Organized by a collective of artists and volunteers, the ACID Art Walk showcased musicians, dancers, poets, photographers, painters, and more throughout the Arts, Culture, and Innovation District.

The walk was organized by Terry Horner and Charlotte Gordon, the Southern Ohio Museum and Cultural Center (SOMACC), Portsmouth Public Arts Commission, Glockner Family of Dealerships, and Port City Café and Pub.

The Art Walk stemmed from the museum’s popular Cream of the Crop exhibit, where local artists within an 80-mile radius of the museum submitted award-winning pieces to be showcased. 14 artists from the exhibit organized pop-up displays of their work that was also for sale in various businesses.

Additional artists also jumped in. The idea was to get the community out into businesses, perhaps for the first time, while also finding appreciation for local artists.

“My feeling is that the Portsmouth Public Art Commission should support all types of art,” Councilwoman and SOMACC Artistic Director Charlotte Gordon said. “Our goal was to have visual art, performing art, musical art and spoken word poetry all in one event, taken to the streets, so people could come out and celebrate local artists.”

Gordon also said that this event made importance for artists who are considered emerging.

“We tried giving exposure to artists who may not be as well-known as other artists. We wanted to highlight artists who are emerging or not necessarily in the forefront with a big, public presence,” Gordon explained. “We need to celebrate all of our artists.”

Gordon said the group was overwhelmed by the response of the public, saying that the artists felt supported and that they plan on looking into the future for opportunities to organize the walk again.

“The music organized by Mark Reinhardt created a very festival atmosphere, and, with Summer Logan’s Musical Theatre group, as well as Cirque d’Art in the street, a comfort level in coming downtown was made and people experienced things for a first time,” Gordon said.

While many of the businesses weren’t related to art, some were.

Two of them being Kevin Young’s private shop and Jason Whisman’s North Shore Printing.

Young makes clocks, mirrors and other useful things using reclaimed wood, metal and more. Young has been making art for 50 years, where he draws inspiration from ancient art.

“I liked the Art Walk. We had about 30 people show up and almost all of them asked how long I’d been there, because they hadn’t seen my shop before,” Young recalled. “I’ve been here for ten years. I had a lot of positive feedback.”

Young sees value in the event.

“There are a lot of artists in this town and there aren’t many places to show our work,” Young said. “The Art Walk is a way to get our work out there. If anything, I wish I could have gotten out there to see more of it, myself.”

Young is at 717 Chillicothe Street and said that anyone who knocks on his door is welcome to a tour.

Whisman operates North Shore with his partner Ivy Brooke Moore. They do graphic design and screen print products. Whisman helped further the spirit of the event by having the musical talents of Johnny Whisman, Josiah Whisman and Jeff James onsite.

“It brought in quite a bit of people my way. There were a lot of families coming out together and I thought that was kind of cool,” Whisman said. “These events get people inspired to create.”

North Shore is at 1105 Gallia Street and Whisman keeps regular hours.

Circling back to the Cream of the Crop, Gordon said that this event made a wonderful partner of the established exhibit of local talent.

“The artists in our Cream of the Crop region have so little opportunity to show their artwork. So, part of what we felt dedicated to was representing those artists and getting them out into the public realm. In so many cities and towns, there’s original artwork with local artworks in restaurants and businesses. So, you can expect original artwork as you do your daily errands and routines. Part of what we want is to start that dialogue, so businesses feel comfortable approaching artists and artists feel comfortable reaching out to the businesses. We have such wonderful artists in Cream of the Crop and to give them this exposure means a lot.”

Reach Joseph Pratt at (740) 353-3101, by email at [email protected], © 2022 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved

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