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Hayes, Littlepage Honored for Contributions to 'Grass Roots' Huntington Art Walk
Huntington Mayor Steve Williams issued a proclamation acknowledging the duos efforts during a small ceremony Monday, March 10 in the Mayor's Conference Room.
Discussing opportunities for artistic festival proposals. Ms. Littlepage mentioned Charleston's "Festivall," which annually highlights arts and performances. The Mayor expressed eagerness in developing , "something uniquely different based on each of the seasons."
The Mayor envisions festivals based on the Summer Solstice, the fall, the winter and Spring by picking themes with "seasonal meanings that reaches out."
He already has a spontaneous supporter, as Littlepage voiced a sincere, "I like that" to Williams vision.
Referring his attendance at the Conference of Mayor's, Williams said they have awards for cities of different sizes based on how they showcase the arts. Dubuque, Iowa, received an award in 2013 for their riverfront presentation. As the Mayor concurred with enhancing Huntington's riverfront use, Ms. Littlepage beamed, "We need to utilize our riverfront more," adding that she "loved" the Point Pleasant Regatta as a child.
"You think we could do that too," she asked.
"Actually, we have some pretty big announcements to make," Williams said.
During the council meeting, Mayor Williams introduced Hayes and Littlepage to describe "the unique artwalk" which includes an "eclectic mix" of art which encourages new artists to exhibit at downtown business.
"We're waiting for April (2014), our next anniversary" to re-start the program, Hayes told council. The monthly attraction took the winter off due to dark skies and coldness. He explained artist awareness needs to be raised as "businesses want artists," the number of participating artisans needs to be increased. Unlike those in other cities, Hayes stressed that Huntington has a "very inclusive" policy allowing "established artists" to "those growing established to show their work."
The event benefits , for instance, "artists who do not have other opportunities to show their work" and crowds are attracted to businesses they might not otherwise visit.
Hayes explained that artists have visited from the Greater Huntington area, including Portsmouth, Ohio, Gallipolis, Ohio, Charleston, WV, Ashland and Louisa, Ky.
Responding to Hayes suggesting that for the third season, artist recruitment needs to move beyond Facebook interactions, council woman Joyce Clark opined that public and private school art teachers be contacted, predicting their students would be anxious to display their creations outside of the school doors.
The Mayor earlier told Hayes and Littlepage that the city would make available its cable channel for promotional activities and that the Mayor's office would work with tying Art Walk with other events.
For further Artwalk information, visit, http://facebook.com/huntingtonartwalk.
For prior story on Ms. Littlepage & her heroic "cosplaying", visit: http://www.huntingtonnews.net/82358
The resolution reads as follows:
During the spring of 2012, both Lauren Littlepage and Chris Hayes received input from the Huntington art community requesting that a downtown Artwalk be created; and
WHEREAS: Lauren and Chris stepped to the plate working together with artists, merchants, and the community to establish the Huntington Artwalk, which began on April 18, 2012; and
WHEREAS: The eclectic and inclusive Huntington Artwalk displays range from traditional paintings to crafts to photography and comic book style graphics; and
WHEREAS: The Huntington Artwalk offers a promotional platform for beginners and well-established artists alike, providing an opportunity to strengthen the professions of artists and our local economy by encouraging stores to remain open later, increasing foot traffic and introducing those who otherwise might not be exposed to local artists and their work; and
WHEREAS: The monthly Huntington Artwalk celebrated its first anniversary in April 2013 and will restart in April 2014; and
WHEREAS: Organizers, Lauren and Chris encourage frequent business supporters of the Huntington Artwalk , such as the Pullman Plaza Hotel, Uniquely Huntington, Pizza Uno, and Empire Books; and
WHEREAS: Following the second Arts Summit, Lauren and Chris were elected officers of the newly formed downtown Huntington Visual Arts Committee.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, STEVE WILLIAMS, MAYOR OF THE CITY OF HUNTINGTON, CABELL AND WAYNE COUNTIES, issue this proclamation to Lauren Littlepage and Chris Hayes for their grassroots and visionary efforts to support the arts and business community of Downtown Huntington and encourage all people, businesses, organizations and institutions to join in honoring these distinguished individuals.