By Tony Wittkowski | Reporter | MLive – Muskegon Chronicle
GRAND HAVEN, MI — Before ArtWalk in Grand Haven, Bob Peskorse had never submitted any of his photos for competition.
Last year, the Grand Haven resident submitted a landscape shot of ice on Lake Michigan that was taken late in the day two winters ago.
“It was a good experience,” Peskorse said. “It was the first time I had entered anything like that. Luckily, I won second place in the Juried Award portion.”
It was an opportunity to have his work viewed by the artist community with a critical eye, something that ArtWalk was created for.
ArtWalk annually features artists from the local area and beyond who participate in an art competition in the following categories: photography, paintings, drawing, mixed media and sculpture.
ArtWalk 2014 is scheduled to begin Wednesday, Sept. 24. It is set to run through Oct. 12 in downtown Grand Haven.
ArtWalk Coordinator Allison Jeske-Revell has been with the Grand Haven Main Street Downtown Development Authority since it first began holding the art-filled event.
“Grand Haven becomes a creative mecca for art,” Jeske-Revell said. “It’s a competition art style and they vote on their favorites pieces.”
During ArtWalk, Jeske-Revell said there will be 66 venues located throughout the Grand Haven Main Street District.
The first year ArtWalk began was in 2010, one year after ArtPrize, held in Grand Rapids, made its debut.
“We felt that our community could hold a similar event (to ArtPrize) and were able to emulate it successfully,” Jeske-Revell said. “Why not give them a similar opportunity along the Lakeshore communities? It’s grown each year.”
Since its first year, ArtWalk has been adding new components to the 19-day schedule. The youth competition is a big portion that has become a favorite among attendees.
Last year there were almost 100 entrees for the youth competition that is held with different age ranges.
There will also be an art market where artists can come down and sell other pieces they might have that are not part of the show.
In addition, a large amount of artists who will be flooding the streets of downtown Grand Haven will be coming from outside of the state.
“We have some who come in from New York City. We have an artist from Ontario and another from Chicago,” Jeske-Revell said. “Having said that, there is a really good local turnout. Our local artists are pretty loyal.”
Local artist Peskorse has been shooting photos for 25 years. When he moved to Grand Haven, Peskorse said there were so many nice things to photograph that he threw himself into his hobby.
Peskorse will be in the photography category again this year with a few canvas prints.
“The first time I walked around I noticed some kind of exhibit, so I decided I would like to be a part it,” Peskorse said. “I would just say it’s a good experience getting your work out there, whatever it may be. Allowing other people to see your work is important.”
Notable events for 2014 ArtWalk include:
ArtWalk Kickoff Picnic, on Wednesday, Sept. 24, at noon: Join the mayor and city council members along the newly remodeled streets of Centertown at the parking lot located at 700 Washington. The community will celebrate the ArtWalk kickoff with lunch, live entertainment and painting activities.
Art Bike Parade & Family Art Day on Saturday, Sept. 27, at 11:30 a.m.: An exhibition of artistically modified bicycles will parade down Washington Avenue. Following the parade, Family Art Day will feature interactive painting for children with participating ArtWalk artists.
“Sunday on the Grand” Voting & Art Market on Saturday, Oct. 4, at noon: Anyone who has decorated and designed plaques for this community art project is invited to bring them to downtown Grand Haven for public voting and awards.
Youth Competition Awards Ceremony & Reception, Tuesday, Oct. 7, at 6 p.m.: The winners of the ArtWalk youth competition will be announced at the Loutit District Library, followed by a reception for all entrants and their families, which will include food, drinks and dessert.
Public voting on ArtWalk pieces ends at 6 p.m. on Oct. 7, with an awards ceremony held at the Tri-Cities Historical Museum at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 9. For more information about ArtWalk events, visit www.ghartwalk.com and check out its Facebook page.
(Author’s Note: This article was originally published on Sept. 23, 2014)