● By Kerri Regan
Story: Kerri Regan
Redding's 2nd Saturday Art Hop
While browsing for a fabulous new pair of shoes in a quaint downtown boutique, a local artisan’s jewelry display catches your eye. A few blocks down at a toy shop, you stop to watch a troupe of street performers. Across the street, as you check out the latest digital camera technology, you’re captivated by a photography exhibit.
Next, you catch a local dance company’s matinee performance at the historic Cascade Theatre. Before heading home, you find a cozy booth at your favorite downtown restaurant, where you savor a leisurely gourmet dinner and a glass of Merlot as a local band plays soulful jazz out on the patio.
Blending the talents of local artists with the myriad offerings of Redding area businesses is the vision behind 2nd Saturday Art Hop Redding, which debuts July 12. A partnership between HawkMan Studios and Enjoy Magazine, the monthly event aims to give North State residents another reason to spend some time downtown.
On the second Saturday of each month, visitors can “hop” from business to business, viewing featured art, enjoying live music, shopping, watching street performers, dining – “the possibilities are limitless,” says Adam Mankoski of HawkMan Studios.
“Our first goal is to make a significant contribution to the redevelopment of downtown and create an urban, cultural environment, an environment where residents can mingle, walk, listen to music, see street performers, view great art and watch artists demonstrate their work,” Mankoski says.
Mankoski founded HawkMan Studios with Troy Hawkins, an artist who grew up in the North State and returned to the area last year after spending many years in Sacramento. They praised the Shasta County Arts Council, North Valley Art League and Salon artists for celebrating local artists; they also hailed the Cascade Theatre, Jefferson Public Radio, Renaissance Redding and Viva Downtown for laying the groundwork that has breathed new life into downtown in recent years.“Their contributions to this community’s cultural scene are immeasurable,” Mankoski says.
Art Hop evolved from HawkMan Studios’ “Art for All Spaces,” which presents local artists’ work in venues that are alternatives to traditional gallery settings. That program debuted in February with a show at Vintage Wine Bar and Restaurant on Market Street. “They were the guinea pigs,” Mankoski says. “Their participation allowed us to test the waters for our new endeavor, and our test resulted in a resounding ‘yes,’ that Redding is ready to experience art in a big way.”
For the Art Hop, HawkMan Studios will match artists with participating businesses, install the shows and develop marketing materials. A two-page map in Enjoy will identify businesses and the featured artists.
And participants can’t wait to get started. Janis Logan, co-owner of Vintage Wine Bar, says Art for All Spaces brings scores of new patrons to her restaurant each month, and she envisions an even bigger impact when Art Hop kicks off.
“People are always saying, ‘What is there to do in Redding?’ This is going to be a great buzz and create more of a downtown feel,” Logan says.
Hawkins and Mankoski credit Enjoy’s founders for embracing the Art Hop concept with refreshing enthusiasm. “(Managing Editor) Ronda (Ball) didn’t even flinch when we approached her with this idea, and she was instrumental in getting the ball rolling... we are incredibly grateful for their vision and their enthusiasm,” Mankoski says.
James Mazzotta, Enjoy’s New Business Developer, calls it a perfect fit.
“This is exactly why Enjoy was created, to support these types of ideas that the community has,” says Mazzotta. “It takes people with vision and courage. You absolutely have to trust. If you sit back and wonder and hope, you'll never know.”