Art Walks Showcase Missouri’s Best

Carthage is just one Missouri city to find an art walk. (Photo by Koral Martin, courtesy Missouri Arts Council)

Carthage is among the cities to find a great art walk. (Photo by Koral Martin, courtesy Missouri Arts Council)

It’s a balmy spring evening on Main Street, Missouri. Every storefront window is alight. As you stroll along, you see through the glass bright flashes of color from displays of paintings, photographs, jewelry, sculpture — and crowds of people admiring and talking about them.

The door to a restaurant swings open to the sounds of conversation and laughter. On one street corner, there’s a woman sketching at an easel. At the next, there’s a man playing the banjo. Ahead of you is a family with a gaggle of children — teenagers texting — a silver-haired couple wearing baseball caps.

You are on an art walk.

What, exactly, is an art walk?

Good question. The folks at the Carthage Historic Downtown Art Walk sum it up like this: “A showcase and celebration of the best galleries, artists, photography, restaurants, shops, and businesses located in downtown.”

Sounds like fun, right? Want to know where to find one?

There are no fewer than 21 art walks in Missouri, from Sikeston to Independence, Hannibal to Buffalo — each with its own unique flavor. Within the basic formula, there are a multitude of creative variations.

Included in this story on art walks are two calendars: a list of all the walks coming up in May through August, and an “evergreen” annual calendar that you can use to find an art walk at any time in any year.

Enjoy the art.

From Barbara MacRobie, public information coordinator for the Missouri Arts Council.