Sometimes the best way to get to know a destination is through its culture. Often times that culture is represented physically through various forms of art. One of the best ways to soak in and appreciate Orange County art is by attending one of the many art walks that take place monthly. Take a stroll through these artistic communities and get a glimpse of the local art scene. Here is a rundown of the art walks that take place throughout the year in OC (in chronological order).
Laguna Beach - With all its summer and winter art festivals, boutique galleries and post-card scenery, it's difficult not to think of Laguna Beach when the topic of art comes up. Held on the first Thursday of the month, First Thursdays Art Walk Laguna Beach is a free, leisurely stroll among the town's picturesque galleries, against the backdrop of magnificent Main Beach. Held from 6-9 p.m., it's the perfect time to catch the sunset, peruse some art pieces and get some exercise in at the same time - though there is a shuttle bus that picks up at the Laguna Art Museum.
Photo credit: First Thursdays Art Walk Laguna Beach
Santa Ana - The Santa Ana Art Walk is held in and out of the galleries that encompass the Artists Village in Downtown Santa Ana. Held the first Saturday of the month from 7-10 p.m., this event is presented in an award-winning urban setting with Mexican culture, diverse eateries and vibrant artists. The new East End Artwalk expands, physically, beyond the traditional "first Saturday" art walk perimeter into the heart of downtown and incorporates food and music into the artistic mix. This festive celebration of art is definitely worth checking out.
Fullerton - The First Fridays Art Walk in Historic Downtown Fullerton, which began in 2010, is run by the Downtown Art Community to highlight local artists and public art venues and runs from 6-10 p.m. on the first Friday of the month. Look for official art walk venues that are marked with a "Walking Man" in front of the establishment.
Anaheim - The Art Crawl Experience (ACE) is typically held the second Saturday of February, May, August and November each year, at the newly revitalized Center Street in Downtown Anaheim Arts District. This free art walk and art festival runs from 6-10 p.m. and features downtown galleries, an indie crafts/live artists fair, live entertainment, gourmet food trucks, fresh eateries and special art attractions at downtown brick and mortar establishments.
Photo credit: Downtown Anaheim Association
Huntington Beach - Known as Surf City USA"®, Huntington Beach is known to be an active and colorful town. Every third Thursday of the month from 6-9 p.m., the Huntington Beach Downtown Art Walk highlights emerging and student artists.
Photo Credit: Huntington Beach Marketing & Visitors Bureau
Orange - Old Towne Orange is known for its antique shops, historic buildings and emerging restaurant offerings. With a college campus just a few blocks away, there is now an interesting dynamic that extends through multiple generations. The Old Towne Orange Artwalk Food Tour blends food with art by including private presentations by artists and gallery owners, food tastings in galleries and sampling from local restaurants.
Balboa Island (Newport Beach) - Balboa Island, located in Newport Beach, is a coastal throwback of a community where the shops - and people - are tight knit. The Balboa Island Artwalk is the premier showcase for talented local artists and marks the start of the island's summer season. The art show features 100 artists exhibiting paintings, fine jewelry, blown glass, sculpture and photography. Visitors will also enjoy live music throughout the day on five stages along the walk. The free, annual artwalk will take place Sunday, May 18, 2014 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. along the South Bayfront Promenade of Balboa Island. The 2014 event marks its 19th anniversary.
Photo Credit: Visit Newport Beach