BRIDGEPORT — Nikki Crome, the artist who's leading the neighborhood "art walk" over the weekend, hopes the event will tie businesses to Bridgeport's growing art scene and vice versa.
"The Morgan Street businesses are incorporated with the art scene and they have work on the walls," she said. "The art walk is almost like the artists taking over Morgan Street."
The Bridged Art Walk takes place Saturday and Sunday at various venues throughout Bridgeport.
It's all part of Chicago Artists Month, a citywide arts program that invites artists to showcase their work at galleries, studio tours and performances.
Casey Cora says the event will have something for everyone:
Now in its 19th year, the event's theme is "Crossing Borders" — "actual physical borders, or conceptual, genre or societal borders — can be liberating, creative, transgressive, stimulating, hazardous, affirmative or all of the above," organizers said.
Crome, who opened her storefront gallery and studio earlier this year at 3118 S. Morgan St., said the weekend event will include new art installations at unlikely venues, raffles, restaurant specials, kids activities and more.
The Bridgeport festivities kick off with a kids painting party from 10 a.m.-noon Saturday at her gallery, 3118 S. Morgan St., where creative kids are invited to scarf down creme brulee French toast while creating take-home masterpieces.
They'll be fueled by live acoustic music and special party punch made with with Maria's ginger beer and fruit juices. Parents, meanwhile, can sip on coffee provided by nearby Bridgeport Coffee Company.
Throughout the weekend, as many as 10 local businesses will participate in a punch card plan that doubles as a raffle.
"It's kind of like a silly scavenger hunt in a sense," she said.
Here's how it works:
A $10 punch card or can be bought at the Crome gallery, and participants who visit all of the businesses listed on the card will be eligible for a grand prize of paintings from Chicago artists.
Art walk participants can also buy individual raffle tickets for a crack at smaller prizes, including discount coupons, gift cards and merchandise from local businesses. Those tickets can be dropped into raffle boxes at select venues.
Proceeds from the raffle will help plan a similar art walk event in Bridgeport next year.
Throughout the weekend, a trio of graffiti artists will create a work on the wall outside Crome's gallery, and on Sunday an artist will create chalk art outside LearningMachine.
"Graffiti is one of those things we just don't see happen. It's not just a bunch of kids spraying the wall," she said.
Both days, participants can snag a limited number of grab bags filled with supplies from Artists & Craftsman Supply, and some local businesses will be running specials, including Bridgeport Pasty, which is giving away a cookie with the purchase of a pasty.
For more information on weekend activities, see the official Bridged Art Walk website.
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