PITTSTON — Despite it being Friday the 13th and rainy, the first Second Friday Art Walk of 2016 got off to a successful start on Main Street.
As the weather broke and more attendees flocked downtown, organizers hoped it was a good omen for the rest of the event’s fourth season.
Joleen Lazecki, an art walk promoter, said this year’s monthly event features more art tents and musical guests.
Another change for this year is the unification of the art walk and Tomato Festival committees. Lazecki is thrilled to be working with the group from the Tomato Festival.
Even though the weather might have been an early hindrance, the crowds started growing into the 6 p.m. hour.
Merchants along Main Street, including Arts Seen Gallery, participated by extending their hours. Gallery owners, husband and wife team Maria Livrone and Bill Zack, look forward to the art walk each month.
They said it gives the community a chance to to check out their work as glass and metal artists, as well as the work of artists who rent space in the gallery to sell their wares.
“The art walk is a showcase for local artists and it’s a juried art walk, meaning the work of artists that do fine art and fine craft are presented to a panel and judged according to guidelines to be able to have a tent along the walk,” Livrone said.
Livrone said she is excited to be part of the thriving art community Pittston has fostered over the past few years.
“This is only the beginning; there is so much more planed and so much more artwork coming and we are hoping to get the word out to surrounding communities to come to Pittston and walk around and enjoy downtown and all of the art,” she said.
Brother and sister act of Jim Thorpe, Bryant Butala and Dani Davison, are street performers with the Eclectic Circus and made a return appearance to the art walk.
“This is our third year and we love this town — it’s a great little stretch and there’s always great artists,” Davison said. “We love seeing the businesses being built up and all the different artists that are brought in and it’s really a nice epicenter for artistic expression.”
Ned McGuire of Wilkes-Barre enjoys coming back to Pittston for food and fun each year. “I’ve been here the last couple years and it’s really enjoyable to go through different venues and to see people you know,” McGuire said.
McGuire said it’s nice to see the new developments in Pittston, and not just the artistic kind.
“For years and years we fought the river instead of embracing it and now with the beautiful condos on the river’s edge, it’s great to see. It’s probably the first set of condos built along the river and you probably have to go down as far as the Chesapeake to see things like that happening,” McGuire added.
The next Second Friday Art Walk will take place June 10.