HIGH SPRINGS ‒ High Springs is known for its natural beauty and its rivers. It is also known for its share of creative artists who are drawn to the area. As home to several art galleries and various craft stores, for a number of years High Springs offered Art Walk, an opportunity for the public to see various artists and crafts makers as they set up outside local shops. Over the last decade, Art Walk has been hosted by various galleries, civic organizations and businesses.
This Saturday, April 16 will be the second Art Walk of 2022 with even more activities and organizations involved. The Art Walk booths will again line the downtown area from 12 to 5 p.m. offering a wide variety of arts and crafts. There will be a host of other activities including a gallery reception for 22 plein air artists and the High Springs Chamber of Commerce Easter Parade and Egg Hunt.
The COVID pandemic in 2020 put a halt to many social activities including the downtown Art Walk, gallery openings and public celebrations. In fall 2021 Art Walk returned, but due to continued health concerns both the crowd and number of artists were smaller. This year on the third Saturday in March Art Walk returned in force as 25 artisans set up along storefronts in the downtown area on Main Street and U.S. Highway 27. Residents and tourists browsed at various booths to view and purchase creations featuring art forms such as painting, woodwork, photography and jewelry.
It was also the rebirth of the Good News Arts gallery that had closed earlier. Owner Jessica Caldas hosted a grand opening combined with Art Walk as one of the featured businesses, complete with a four-piece string band, artist Kim Bossons and an opening show by Brittany M. Watkins.
The Good News Arts Gallery will also feature a book arts class, which will cover all aspects of book making process. This is the beginning of an ongoing Saturday workshop series. Each class is $20 although Caldas says that they encourage folks to reach out if they cannot pay to discuss options. All materials are provided and registration for each class in advance is encouraged. This is one of many projects and educational plans Caldas has for the gallery.
“Good News Arts is a community arts space and gallery that collaborates with artists and community to provide contemporary arts and education that is affordable, accessible, and equitable,” said Caldas. “We are a nonprofit and have shown more than 50 international, regional, and local artists through our exhibitions.”
Caldas says that through sales of artworks, the organization has donated more than $400 to various nonprofits, mutual aid funds, and service organizations. Rather than taking a commission of sales, divesting artist from money earned from their work, artists are encouraged to donate 10 percent of their sales to an organization of their choosing.
Good News Arts also offers classes and workshops, including after school youth arts classes for grades K-8 and a summer arts camp May 6 through July 27. For more information visit goodnewsarts.com or visit the gallery at the Art Walk at 18555 High Springs Main Street.
Tina Corbett of Lanza Gallery and Art Supplies is adding an artist’s reception from 4-7p.m. The Santa Fe Springs Plein Air exhibit features the paintings of 22 artists who spent three days painting landscapes of various local rivers. The exhibit opens at 11 a.m. and closes with the artist’s reception.
The Chamber of Commerce Easter Parade and Egg Hunt kicks off at the High Springs Chamber of Commerce Office/Welcome Center located at 23517 N.W. 185th Road. At 11 a.m. the parade will proceed to the museum, stopping at stores along the way and return with the Easter Bunny to the Welcome Center for an Easter Egg Hunt from 12:15 to 12:30 p.m. Participating stores may have surprises to fill the baskets, and there will be free hot dogs and lemonade as well. Kids in the parade may wear everyday clothing or an Easter outfit and need to bring an Easter basket. All are welcome to join in the parade and to participate in the Easter Egg Hunt.
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