Last May marked the first inaugural ‘Street Art Saturday,’ an event created by Main Street Portsmouth’s Executive Director Joseph Pratt and Charlie Haskins of Haskins House to promote local artisans and shops. The pair are happy to announce that the event will be hitting the streets again this year.
A soft opening for the event was held Saturday, May 6. Pratt said after last year’s success, it just made sense to continue. Last year, the event was held between noon and 2 p.m., this year the hours have changed from 2-5 p.m., in order to better accommodate work schedules.
“We want people to become more aware of the talent this area has and we want our artists to feel appreciated. Being an artist can be a thankless job at times and I believe our community deserves this opportunity to observe and appreciate local creative forces and Appalachia culture,” said Pratt.
Not only does the event benefit local artists, it benefits local businesses as well. The event helps draw attention to the businesses and provides opportunities for visitors to browse stores they may have not considered prior.
There are a variety of mediums present, from local musicians and bands, to painting, pottery and primitive style home decor. Each artist is assigned a station outside of a local business along Second Street, and musicians are set up on every block.
Performances by Brian Richards, Ronny Richards, Kevin Bradbury and Nathan Marshall were hosted at PackRats and Haskins House throughout the afternoon along with a variety of others.
Street Art Saturday also served as the kick-off for a new project developed by C*MAR, (Creative Minds Are Rare). The group unveiled a new comic book, which will be available at several locations throughout Portsmouth including AwesomeTown/Castle Comics, Haskins House and PackRats, Dungeon Dwellers and others.
“They’re made exclusively in Portsmouth Ohio, the art, the materials, everything’s done here,” explained C*MAR’s Nick Sherman. “The story is about post-apocalyptic Portsmouth, there’s river demons, cool weapons, and all sorts of other Portsmouth stuff. There’s also recognizable locations, that’s something that we’re going to try to stick to. We’re going to be working towards a subscription service and the plan is to release one new issue every month.”
While there is no set charge for the comic, the group is asking for donations to help cover the cost of printing. For more information, you can find the group on Facebook by searching “CMAR Clothing.”
Haskins says he will be unveiling his new Painting Portsmouth book during next months event.
Street Art Saturday will continue to be held on the first Saturday of each month. For more information, or if you’d like to become involved, you can message Haskins House or Main Street Portsmouth on their Facebook pages. Main Street Portsmouth may also be reached at 740-464-0203 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Reach Ciara Conley at 740-353-3101 ext. 1932, Facebook “Ciara Conley - Daily Times,” or Twitter @PDT_Ciara.