Photo of glass artist Bandhu Dunham sharing the magic of his work with a visitor at Van Gogh’s Ear gallery during a 4th Friday Art Walk.
Photo courtesy of Patti Ortiz.
by Blake Herzog
For almost 19 years Prescott’s art scene has been unified and boosted by the 4th Friday Art Walks, which have taken the First Fridays concept popularized on Phoenix’s Roosevelt Row and elsewhere around the nation and made it “Everybody’s Hometown’s” own.
Patti Ortiz, who oversees the event’s website and Facebook page — and is marketing and art education director at ‘Tis Art Center and Gallery — says the name was inspired by Einstein’s fourth dimension of space and time.
The event quickly caught on, regardless of occasional confusion when a month ends with five Fridays. “It’s a night when galleries are staying open late, they have something going on, and visitors are welcome to come meet the artist and experience what’s going on in the galleries at the time,” Ortiz says.
Since its debut in March 2004 — the original February date was scrubbed by 4 inches of snow — the art walk has attracted aficionados throughout Prescott and the rest of the state to Prescott’s historic downtown to peruse and purchase paintings, sculptures and almost any other art object imaginable from the city’s thriving gallery scene.
Hundreds turn out each month for the walk that currently has 13 participating galleries, down from a peak of 21 just before the pandemic. The walk runs from 5 to 7 p.m.; some galleries extend their hours to 8 p.m. or beyond. Most feature a reception for the artist featured in a current exhibit or another special event.
Monthly details are available at www.artthe4th.com and a brochure is available at each gallery, the Prescott Chamber of Commerce and some 70 other locations around the community.
Ortiz says the art walks have helped the arts community expand and flourish while helping to diversify the nightlife downtown.
“Having this once a month, people know ‘we can go out to eat, go to the galleries, or we could skip eating and eat at the galleries’,” she says.
FOURTH FRIDAY ART WALKS
Upcoming art walks are scheduled from 5-7 p.m.
on Dec. 23, Jan. 27 and Feb. 24.
Participating galleries include:
• Art2 (Art Squared)
• Arts Prescott Cooperative Gallery
• Carrie Weldon Gallery
• Duran Studio
• Founding Fathers Collective
• Gallery Beyond Words
• Ian Russell Gallery of Fine Art
• Mountain Artists Guild
• Natural History Institute
• Suze’s Prescott Center for the Arts Art Gallery
• ‘Tis Art Center & Gallery
• Van Gogh’s Ear
• Yavapai College Art Gallery