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Third Colby Art Walk offers wide variety of works





COLBY -- The Colby Art Walk has been expanding every year, and Friday's third annual event will offer "something for everybody," said Rebel Jay, an art instructor at Colby Community College who organizes the event with the help of her students.

The event will be from 5 to 8 p.m. in downtown Colby, and 24 businesses along Franklin Street will display the work of local artists.

"We have lots of artwork," Jay said. "There's going to be clay and painting and sculpture and quilting. There might be some stained glass windows and all kinds of homemade creations."

Area musicians, including Prairie Rose Singers and Mama's Boys, will perform along the art walk route.

Also celebrating the performing arts, students at Nicole's School of Dance in Colby have organized a choreographed flash mob that will be at 6:30 p.m. Dancers will be scattered through the area, and traffic will be blocked for the performance, she said.

Even the youngest artists will have the opportunity to share their work. Creations from Colby K-12 students will be displayed at the dance studio. Public and private schools will be represented at the event.

Colby Community College students' artwork will be shown at Creations Gallery, a basement gallery located on Franklin Avenue.

Other highlights will include Old West-style fare provided by David Pabst, who owns a chuckwagon and will prepare peach cobbler and "chuckwagon chili."

Several activities, such as balloon art, caricature drawings and face paintings, also will be available for children.

"It's fun," Jay said. "People bring their kids down here in strollers. It's not just for adults; it's for all ages."

CCC's criminal justice department will set up a mock crime scene for children to investigate and offer a "drunk goggles" exercise to educate about the dangers of drunk driving.

New to this year's event is the addition of "art bucks," which will be randomly distributed to attendees. Some art bucks offer coupons to participating businesses, and others will offer money toward the purchase of an original piece of artwork displayed at the event.

"We try to do something new every year so people see it's something different. It's not the same thing," Jay said. "Otherwise, they'll get tired of it and they won't come out."

The event started three years ago as a way to promote local culture. Attendance swelled to 800 people at last year's event, and organizers are hoping for an even larger number this year, Jay said.

"The first year when I was walking around, I walked around a business and a lady was getting ready to come in. ... She said, 'I just can't believe it. We have culture in Colby,' " she said. "She was just so excited to have something to attend."