It’s one of the hottest art events of the year. Hays Arts Council’s Summer Art Walk is scheduled for Friday evening, and will offer a full slate of visual and performing art exhibits.
Temperatures could top 100 degrees that day, but 15 Hays businesses will offer a cool respite — as well as fine art to enjoy. Brenda Meder, executive director of Hays Arts Council, noted there are several dining and drink options along the art walk path, so attendees can choose to make a night of it.
“If it’s hot, pop into one of those (businesses). Have a beer, wine, or iced mocha, then go out and do a little bit more,” she said. “It really gives the opportunity to fit the evening to your pace. Do it at your own pace.”
The main event will be from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. downtown, with two businesses offering extended hours. Avalon Advanced Health, 2703 Hall Ste. 13, will be open from 5 to 7:30 to display works by Aaron Phillips, Can “Cadie” Long and Brett Novack. Gella’s Diner and Lb. Brewing Co. will be open from 9 to 11 p.m. for a live jazz performance by Brad Dawson and Luke Johnson.
Meder was working Tuesday afternoon to display the works of Barbara Waterman-Peters and Larry Peters, a husband and wife duo who are both Kansas artists. Peters specializes mostly in mixed-media collages and ceramics, while Waterman-Peters creates life-like oil paintings. Their display, “A Summer Together,” will be inside the Hays Arts Center, 112 E. 11th.
Other highlights will include scientific creations by local youth, as Hays Public Library presents “The Art of Coding: STEM Projects & Robots,” featuring work by young adult department. Author Sean Conroy also will be present to autograph his book, “Through the Eyes of a Young Physician Assistant.”
Hays Community Theatre, in its new location of 121 E. Eighth, will present a summer musical showcase from its upcoming production of “The King and I.”
“I think it’s a really great array of work, of places for us to have on for the art walk this summer,” Meder said, noting the summer events often are more difficult to plan because college classes aren’t in session and many local artists are traveling. “In light of some of the regulars not being there, there’s still this really rich, wonderful array of work. So I’m very happy with the way the art walk came together. There’s work by young people and young developing artists, and by professional artists, and statewide esteemed artists, all covered.”
The art walk events, which are seasonal and scheduled four times a year, have seen a dramatic increase in attendance over the years. The spring event this year drew a crowd of approximately 1,100 people, Meder said, noting the summer event likely will be smaller.
“Spring and fall walks really do draw those amazing numbers, and now with changes we’ve had in downtown Hays, I think it makes it more of an event for people,” she said. “The art walk is enough of a reason to get out, but now we can also go to that place and eat, then have some wine or coffee afterwards.”
Other exhibits on Friday’s schedule include:
• Paisley Pear Wine Bar, Bistro, Market, 1100 Main, Photography by Gilbert Kinderknecht and live music by Company 11
• Couture for Men & Women, 1111 Main, “Spirit of the Prairie” earth art by Angela Muller
• Hays Arts Center Annex, 1010 Main, “Shermantiestablishmentism Part Deux,” works by Gordon Sherman, Dagan Sherman, Ariel Sherman and Brian Hutchinson; paintings and photographs by Bruce Burkholder.
• Union Pacific Park, 10th and Main, “Apophenia Art” by Craig Brendan, KSU Watersheds and City of Hays “WOW Trailer”
• Downtown Pavilion, hosted by DHDC, live music from Max Walker and friends
• A2Z Escape, 115 W. Eighth, paintings, photography and mixed media works by Madison Schremmer, Morgan Schremmer and Jeanne Schwartz
• Diamond R Jewelry, 807 Main, paintings by Darris Worcester
• Breathe Coffee House, 703 Main, “Wednesday Morning Breakfast Club,” works by Jim Hinkhouse, Michael Jilg, Kathleen Kuchar, Darrell McGinnis and Cal Mahin, music by Sunrise Biscuits
• Ellis County Historical Society, 100 W. Seventh, “Art and Artifacts”
• Garden Art Gallery, 206 E. Sixth, Works by Kurt Breshears, Zane Mahanna, Woody Stauffer, Holly Ray, Shannon Trevethan and Nicole Thibodeau