(Artist Asaph Maurer painting a wall mural featuring famed New Orlean’s blues and jazz musician Lionel Batiste on the wall outside Nola’s Restaurant during the Walkerville Art Walk in Windsor, Ontario, on Friday, July 19, 2019. Photo above by Robert Tuomi / Eyes On Windsor.)
Windsor’s Walkerville Art Walk opened with a flourish of art, music and food Friday night (July 19). A five block stretch of Wyandotte Street was chock-a-block with purveyors of everything from fine art to hand made soaps and a few things in-between like buskers and musicians. This is the 17th edition of the popular event, hosted by the Walkerville Business Improvement Association. Judging by the mass of visitors, it is another unqualified success.
One of the advantages of holding the event in Walkerville is the many art galleries which line the street including the newly opened ArtLab of Windsor, the Art Council’s ArtSpeak and the Windsor Artists’ Co-operative. At the Co-operative the works of 32 artists were on display.
Complementing the established galleries were a number of artists under tents showing their latest works including Andrea Pollock who takes a different approach to portraiture. She told Eyes on Windsor of her subjects never being in one space at one time. They are, she explained, constantly making transactions within their environments thus their undefined faces. She prefers to blur the lines a bit by portraying her interpretation of a moving narrative within each work.
Artists often like to break down stereotypes. Christine Rettig is one good example. She calls a colourful work of yellow ducks with an obvious non-conformist a “take on conformity,” a painting with a delightful twist.
Further down the line of artists’ and their tents is a fine example of inspiration. Carla Ciri happened upon a closing clothing store on Ottawa Street and noticed the owner tossing out a classic mannequin. While it was a discard, Ciri saw a small army of brightly coloured painted mannequins, some of which she displayed at her tent in front of Audrey’s Closet & Company, which also has one of her works on display.
Entertainment was a priority for the walk and included the extreme balancing of juggler Cobbler Jay, a delight for adults and children, and the musical style of the Phil Kane Trio. After almost four decades living in Oakville Kane returned to his hometown a few years back and set out to putting his trio together. He tells Eyes on Windsor, he found a surplus of musicians and has a cast he assembles for various gigs, including serving as the occasional house band at Nola’s – A Taste of New Orleans, a mainstay restaurant of the Ville.
Kane’s music covers the full gamut of contemporary tunes: blues, swing, soft rock and more. But there is a distinction about the playlist. Even though the songs may repeat at different venues, the trio never plays any composition the same way twice.Kane likes to mix things up. It is a challenge his other musicians love, as well as the audience. It gives them greater satisfaction by letting their creativity shine through.
And there was art in the making. In the courtyard at Nola’s, artist Asaph Maurer was busy working on a full wall tribute mural featuring famed New Orlean’s blues and jazz musician Lionel Batiste. Inside Chris, Kelly and Tom were serenading diners with their own brand of New Orleans jazz and blues.
Among the artists showing their latest creations were a number of crafters with a wide range of products, from hand made soap to mini-pies. With so much to see and do, those who attend should budget at least a few hours to not only take it all in but to talk with some of Windsor and Essex County’s highly creative and talented artists and artisans.
The event will continue to run on Saturday (July 20) from noon to 7pm. Many businesses and patios will be open and extended until 2am both nightsThere is no cost and families are welcome.
For more information see the Eyes On Windsor Walkerville Art Walk event listing.
Article by Robert Tuomi
For over a decade, Robert has covered local news and community events. Initially as a contributor to CBC Radio’s local morning show and then as the long-time producer and host of CJAM’s The Rest of the News and as a journalist at the Windsor Square. A graduate of the Nikon School of Photography he enjoys illustrating his reports with what he sees through his camera’s lens.