In late February, the streets of St. Thomas will once again be peppered with art
lovers and curious onlookers. Back for a second year, the Railway City Arts Crawl
is a winter celebration of local arts and culture spanning a variety of public and
commercial venues throughout St. Thomas on February 27 and 28, 2015.
A free event, the Arts Crawl invites people to move leisurely from site to site
using a passport as a guide and to interact with talented local artists engaging
in the creative process.
"This year we have more artists - 40 confirmed - so we have already doubled our
participants compared to last year," said coordinator Megan Pickersgill. "Our artists
are doing some really neat things. There's a working blacksmith, a guitar maker,
and an intricate installation entitled 'Forest' at the Elgin County Railway Museum,
just to name a few."
For artist Katelyn Tippin, who works in media such as water colour, acrylic, oil
and lino print making, the event is a unique chance to meet the public. "What's
exciting about the Arts Crawl is getting to interact with everyone in the public,
showing them behind the scenes how my art is made and answering their questions.
It's a great chance to show people the type of work I make."
Laura Woermke, Executive Director of the St. Thomas-Elgin Public Art Centre, agrees
that the event helps practicing artists to bridge a gap with their audience. "Artists
tend to work in solitude and don't always have a marketing plan for their work,
so an event like this gives them an opportunity to be visible and part of a larger
group," said Woermke.
An after party is planned for the Saturday night following the event and for the
first time, there will be fireworks in Downtown St. Thomas in February. The fireworks
show will begin at 6:30 p.m. near the intersection of Talbot and Ross Streets and
will be followed with live music and local appetizers from Yoda's Private Catering
at the Midtown Tavern at 701 Talbot Street.
The passport, containing information on both the venues and the artists, is available
at participating venues and downloadable on the Railway City Arts Crawl website
Each venue will stamp the passport and if the participant reaches 10 venues, they
are eligible for a prize draw.
Woermke, who will be stationed at the Railway City Brewing Co. and showcasing her
own work, is ready to create.
"I've got all my stretchers ready."
Friday, February 27: Crawl runs from 6:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
Saturday, February 28: Crawl runs from 11:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. | Fireworks
at 6:30 p.m. | Midtown after-party at 7:00 p.m.