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Our View: Art takes center stage tonight

This evening brings a golden opportunity to check out how far Crescent City’s art community has come.

Galleries, businesses and others are teaming up to present the first Crescent City Art Walk from 4 to 7 p.m. A lush variety of art will be displayed and refreshments will be served at 10 venues clustered in two locations.

Crescent City has been a little slow getting around to this Art Walk concept that so many other cities already employ to bask in the synergy of varied venues exhibiting diverse media. Brookings has been pulling off successful Second Saturday art walks since 2004, starting with four attractions and growing to as many as 18.

Unlike our Oregon neighbors, we haven’t developed a single art district with all venues easily reachable on foot. But with the help of art displays at the courthouse, the library, and several local businesses, Crescent City has two art districts today, downtown and at the harbor.

Tonight offers a chance to build on the art-appreciation momentum that was palpable just two months ago during the grand opening of the Gallery of Arts and Culture. The beautiful new gallery on H Street across from the Post Office was jammed that night with people mingling with sculptures and celebrating downtown’s new fine-arts showplace.

If you haven’t seen it yet, what better time than now? While you’re at it, take in the annual courthouse reception (5-6 p.m.) honoring artists in the Juried Multimedia Exhibit of the Del Norte Association for Cultural Awareness. Other downtown venues include The Daily Triplicate, Tomasini’s Enoteca, the Del Norte County Library, the KHSU/KHSR Studio and State Farm Insurance.

It’s about a three-minute drive between downtown and the harbor, where three art venues beckon not only tonight but year-round. Watch potters in action at Talking Crow Studio, which opened in 2008. Explore the glass mosaics and other diverse offerings at Bay Studios, which reopened in 2007. And take in the ever-changing displays of myriad regional artists at Crescent Harbor Gallery, long the backbone of our art community.

The Lighthouse Repertory Theater is renovating a moviehouse to stage its future productions. The Redwoods Mural Society is transforming bare walls into giant works of art all over town. Considerable strides have been taken toward eventually making this remote coastal community one of the things it should be: an artists’ haven. This improves our quality of life and makes us more attractive to visitors who help drive our economy.

The great thing about art venues is that they complement each other rather than competing for a limited number of customers. The more that open, the better they all do.

This is what makes tonight’s cooperative effort for an Art Walk so appropriate. Refresh­ments, a vast array of art to appreciate, and a chance to mingle with your friends and neighbors while supporting a growing local industry.

What’s not to like about that?

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