South Pasadena’s strong heritage of all things creative comes to life next weekend as the mid-summer Arts Crawl returns to the downtown area.
Started in 2008 as a small celebration of the creative spirit of the city, its popularity grew over the years and evolved into a quarterly event. It is now held in the winter, the spring, fall and next Saturday, June 21, as the mid-summer edition.
“The Arts Crawls help stimulate the local economy by bringing visitors to the business district,” said Laurie Wheeler, president/CEO of the South Pasadena Chamber of Commerce that sponsors the event. “It also helps to brand South Pasadena as an arts-community and provides a community event for both artists and art-lovers who live in South Pasadena,” she continued. “Affectionately known as the ‘neighborhood-night-on-the-town,’ visitors can find a myriad of activities, art, music, sales, food specials without leaving town… Each quarter brings a new theme, poster and related art activity.”
The free Arts Crawl offers gallery exhibitions, art activities, live music, open houses, food and drink specials, and sales throughout the business district and adjacent streets, according to the organizers.
The event is produced for the chamber by the South Pasadena Arts Center, or SPACE.
Hope Perello, director of SPACE, explains the continuing success of the Arts Crawl.
“The South Pas Arts Crawl has thrived for the last ten years because this community is filled with creative people who really appreciate the arts,” Perello said in an email to The Review. “They are looking for fun ways to spend a Saturday evening with their families or friends and they get a chance to experience their downtown community in a fresh way. The arts are a great way to engage the public in interactions with each other. It brings the community closer and shows off the creative talents of its citizens. We don’t have as many galleries as we did several years ago but the local merchants have embraced the event by turning their stores into live music venues and places for art exhibitions. We are redefining what an Arts Crawl can be – it’s more about the spirit of creativity instead of just selling art at a gallery. That spirit can be expressed through a coffee shop doing an art workshop, a toy store hosting a band, or a restaurant offering a Frida Kahlo cocktail. This is the new way to celebrate a special Saturday night in your neighborhood.”
A new feature for this Arts Crawl will be Deep Mix Studio’s invitation for visitors to sing a phrase or poem, hum, or play a guitar or percussion instrument at the studio, 1510 Oxley St. The performances will contribute to a musical collage, created by Brad Colerick, and posted on social media later.
Also, the South Pasadena Library will present musician Goh Kurosawa and artist Pete Morris, recently returned from a tour of Japan. A guitar performance by Kurosawa accompanies an exhibit of Morris’ drawings and paintings and a film about the artist. 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. with refreshments.
Furthermore, Dinosaur Farm and Kidd’s Jewelry Heist host “The Kids Are Alright Night” in their back-parking lot, featuring performers 21 and under, with Charley Hickey headlining. Plus, face painting and a $5 bracelet bonanza.
That’s not all. Hot Box Vintage will celebrate their new location with a grand opening party and live music by Siam Jem and Annika Saige. Good Citizen Media presents Bungalow Bill’s Jumpin’ Jam in the courtyard from 6 – 9 p.m., and at Griffin’s of Kinsale the Crane Lake Serenaders play at 8:30 p.m.
The Artisans’ Corner, near the Metro Station, will feature 10 vendors offering gifts and unique items including art, home décor, accessories, jewelry and more.
Nearby, on the lawn of the South Pasadena Historical Museum, Marie Switzer Miller leads a family art activity celebrating old-fashioned summer games with arty twists on a giant scrabble game, ring toss, and action painting.
A complete listing of all activities and a map will be included in the South Pasadena Review in the July 20 issue and online.
Patrons can park in the Mission/Meridian Parking lot (north of Mission Street, on Meridian), and walk to the more than 20 participating shops and boutiques. The Metro Gold Line South Pasadena Station will put you right in the heart of the event.
More information can be found online at www.SouthPasadena.net, or visit the Facebook page “Arts Crawl South Pasadena.”