Reedley Art Hop In March

 by Jim Mulligan

Editor's Note: This event has been postpone to April 1.

The Greater Reedley Chamber of Commerce is at it again, organizing the opportunity for a fun night out in quaint downtown Reedley. I recently spoke with Chamber Director, Erik Valencia, who gave me a little insight into the artsy endeavor.

KRL: So, what is an Art Hop?

EV: An Art Hop is an event where attendees can “hop” from location to location to enjoy art on display as well as interact with the artists.

KRL: Has Reedley had an Art Hop before?

EV: This will be the third Art Hop that the Chamber has organized. The first was held before the pandemic in the fall of 2019. The event was inspired by the Reedley mural on the Bank of America Building, which was unveiled that same day. We brought back the Art Hop this past fall, and are continuing now with a spring Art Hop on Friday, March 4th as part of our ALIVE AFTER 5 events (held the first Friday of each month) in Downtown Reedley.


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KRL: What is the goal of the Art Hop?

EV: The purpose of the Greater Reedley Chamber of Commerce is to provide education, connectivity, and promotion for our businesses and community. This event fits within that mission by exposing our community to art, connecting our businesses and attendees with creative people, and giving Reedley another unique event that we can use to promote our community and downtown.

Art Hop visitors enjoy music at a past Art Hop

KRL: What types of art will be represented this year?

EV: We are still in the process of locating artists, but most of the art will include paintings, photography, ceramics, textiles, music, and performance art.

KRL: How do artists participate?

EV: We put out a call for artists through social media, as well as reach out to local contacts for participants. We ask those that are interested to email us with a description of their art as well as a few photos of their artwork for review. We accept both professional and amateur artists of all ages. Our one request is that the art be family friendly as this event is attended by community members of all ages.

Miriam Aleman of the Reedley Executive Center 

welcomes visitors to a past Art Hop.

I also caught up with one of the downtown businesses and one of the artists who will be participating in this year’s Art Hop event. I asked Miriam Aleman of the Reedley Executive Center why her business participates in Art Hop. Aleman said, “The Reedley Executive Center team believes that wonderful things happen in community. We exist to provide people a beautiful space to collaborate, create and work together. Hosting an Art Hop for the community of Reedley is aligned with our mission of community. We want to encourage spaces for people to live out their passion!”

This year, there will be a display of living art. The Tulare County Bonsai Association will have a few of their members showcasing their bonsai trees. The leader of the group, Cesar OrdoƱez, told me why he and other members wanted to participate in this year’s Art Hop: “We want to bring the art of Bonsai to the eyes of people that have little to no knowledge of it. Bonsai will add something different and interesting to the Hop! Bonsai is not just art, it is living art. The artist’s very canvas lives and grows. The people behind these trees aren’t just artists but also caretakers, as these pieces of art need attention 24 hours a day, seven days week, 365 days a year. Some of these trees are hundreds of years old and depend solely on the owner to not only prolong its life, but to keep it healthy and green year round. Bonsai teaches one about nature, patience, love, and peace, things I think we all could use a little bit more of.

Cesar OrdoƱez works on a bonsai tree, an example of living art.

 

Join your fellow Reedley-ites on March 4 for a leisurely stroll up and down G Street; savor the sights and sounds of art on display by the myriad of talented artists.

Jim Mulligan is a 6th generation Californian, born and raised in Selma. He has been employed in Reedley on and off for the last twenty-plus years. He married his college sweetheart, a Reedley-ite, Kristi. They now reside in Reedley. They have five children. Jim loves to create Bonsai, ride his motorcycle, and travel as much as possible, both near and far. He works at Reedley College.

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