Gaye Swan, who is in charge of publicity for the event, is a new member of the ArtWalk committee. She said one of the best aspects of the event is the camaraderie amongst the neighborhood’s residents.
“The best part of the ArtWalk is the overall vibe -- it is so cool to walk around, visit neighbors, meet new friends and get a look at the amazing art coming from local artists,” she said.
On April 7, local musicians and artists will present their work in the East Buntyn area, which residents say is the heart of Memphis. There will be an art sale from 2 to 6 p.m. and live music from 2 to 7 p.m.
“I love that we are set up on front lawns and porches,” she said. I think that makes us different from any other art festival in the city.”
For Swan, being able to jump in and plan for this event has been her personal favorite part of the ArtWalk.
“The best part of participating has been planning all the fun,” she said. “We are adding t-shirts and food trucks this year, added to the continuous live entertainment and silent auction we started last year.”
Matthew Timberlake, also a member of the ArtWalk committee, is planning for the musical element of the event. He has been involved in the ArtWalk for three years. He said the best part of the event to him is being involved in the process of bringing this event to life.
“To me, the best part about being involved is being a part of creating a large-scale happening that wouldn't exist if the neighbors didn't come together to make it happen,” he said.
Timberlake said that those in attendance will have much to look forward to in terms of food, music, and unique artwork.
“I think first they'll be amazed to see things like the food trucks, then they'll think it's cool that they can tune in to the music on stage through their radios,” he said. “Ultimately, though, I think the diversity and quality of the art on display will be what excites them the most.”
Timberlake said that the ArtWalk is unique to the area because there is such a variety of people planning and participating in the event.
“Even if every neighborhood in the city held a similar festival, the East Buntyn ArtWalk would be unique because the people that plan it are unique, and the features we integrate into it are unique and the artists we attract are unique,” he said.
Timberlake said that the ArtWalk is a great way to get people in the neighborhood to come together, at least once a year, for an event that celebrates the positive aspects of Memphis life.
“It gets us out of our small community of immediate neighbors and into the culture of the big picture of our neighborhood,” he said. “An event like this strengthens bonds to our time and place, and a big part of that is getting to know the people we share space with.”