Published Thursday, May 5, 2016

With spring – finally – comes the slate of activities that draws people out on certain Friday evenings to stroll the sidewalks of Downtown Appleton and take in all genres of art.

Appleton Downtown Inc. has painted a mix of activities for its summer Art on the Town events, which take place on the third Fridays in the months of May through September from 6 to 9 p.m. Creative visual arts, performing arts, and music and dance all are part of the series.

Supporting the summer-long series are sponsors Appleton International Airport, Tundraland Home Improvements, Bazil’s and the City of Appleton.

Artists and performers will be showcased at a host of Downtown venues – shops, restaurants, museums, the Creative Place Parklet, Houdini Plaza and even along the sidewalks – creating their art, performing their talent and engaging with visitors who stop to inquire about their craft. Many offer their items for sale. Additionally, each month there is a special feature or theme that makes it even more fun.

“This series is part of our efforts to foster a Creative Economy in the heart of the Downtown,” says Anne Wiegman, ADI’s marketing director. “People really get a chance to relax and engage in conversation with many of the artists and performers, and in some cases, create their own piece of art. The lineup includes something for all ages.”

One Great Window opens the series in Houdini Plaza on May 20.  In partnership with Tundraland Home Improvements, this evening’s Art On the Town displays entries in Tundraland’s “Windows for a Cause” initiative that will result in the company providing an electric stand-up wheelchair to a local disabled veteran. 

Artists and non-artists alike from around the region have been painting recycled windows, which have been displayed in Appleton and Green Bay. Facebook fans have been “liking” their favorites, and the window artist whose work receives the most likes will earn a prize. Proceeds from a silent auction of the windows at the end of May will be applied toward purchase of the wheelchair.

On June 17, the event features Cultural Art On the Town, showcasing murals painted on the traffic control boxes in Appleton’s Downtown by middle and high school students depicting various local cultural and community groups.  It is always fun to see how the businesses embrace the theme with the artists they host.

Then, on July 15, the fun begins even earlier as artists of all ages are encouraged to create sidewalk masterpieces during Chalk On the Town starting at 2 p.m. when activities for children get underway in Houdini Plaza.  For this event, The Trout Museum of Art, Appleton Public Library, Building For Kids Children’s Museum, Wisconsin Public Television and the YMCA all team up to offer child-friendly activities including chalking, face painting, storytelling, photo booths and more!

Public Picassos will create works of art on August 19 during Paint On the Town in Houdini Plaza.  Supplies and an instructor will be on site to facilitate the creation of your masterpiece and you’ll still have time to enjoy the rest of the art offerings Downtown.

Wrapping up the series of events will be PARK(ing) Day on September 16 when small spaces and parking stalls in Downtown will be converted to mini-parks.  PARK(ing) Day is an annual worldwide event where artists, designers and citizens transform metered parking spots into temporary public parks.  

To assist visitors in planning their Art On the Town outings, ADI has posted a map and artist details on its website, www.appletondowntown.org

For more information, contact Anne Wiegman, Appleton Downtown Inc., by calling (920) 954-9112, or email anne@appletondowntown.org

ADI is a non-profit advocacy source for the businesses and merchants of Downtown Appleton, presenting the weekly Downtown Appleton Indoor Winter Farm Market and a host of other events. For more information about ADI and/or a complete listing of upcoming Downtown happenings, visit ADI’s new website, www.appletondowntown.org, or check them out on Facebook at the Appleton Downtown or Downtown Appleton Food & Fun Fan Pages, or on Twitter @downtowncool and @dwtnappleton

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