Riverside Arts Walk has a lot to offer

By Natalie Morton / Staff Writer

By Natalie Morton / Staff Writer

It’s easy to see why the monthly Arts Walk in downtown Riverside has been running for almost five years as this event quite literally has something for everyone.

After dark on Thursday March 4, there appeared to be more to do in a three block radius outside the Riverside Art Museum, than on any other street in Riverside.

The Walk takes place every first Thursday of the month, and every month there will be something new to see.

The events and exhibits are all completely free, and there are enough attractions that everyone in your family or circle of friends will find something enjoyable.

This month’s Arts Walk featured two main opening attractions which drew quite a crowd.

Mark Indig, a photographer whose work showcases southern California, debuted his latest exhibit, “Closed on Sundays”. Sierra LaPoint, who works at the Riverside Art Museum, gave a tour of the exhibit and talked about its significance.

“It is a throwback, before huge corporate chains and the idea of being open 24/7,” she said.

Indig’s photographs are all of charming shops and quaint looking businesses located around southern California, but with one thing in common: all the photographs feature these shops and businesses while they have their gates closed.

Another exhibit by Indig, “The L.A. River- The City Runs Through It,” is currently at the Riverside Art Museum as well. The series depicts several different striking areas along the Los Angeles River.

One thing both of these works have in common is a similar, stunning aesthetic quality.

Indig was a film location manager for the first 15 years of his career before he decided to become a full-time photographer. He says this visual effect, which gives the photographs a dreamy quality, like a watercolor painting, is complicated.

“It is not just the paper,”  Indig explained. “The choices of subject, light, and technique also have a lot to do with it.”

Indig’s work is currently on display at the Riverside Art Museum through May 29.

Another event that took place, was a big dance showcase choreographed by University of California, Riverside Graduate student Ann Mazzocca.

One of the shows, a quartet titled “Skirts,” is rooted in Afro-Caribbean folkloric dances and is heavily influenced by Haitian culture and gender roles.

Mazzocca’s second piece, “Ogou, Ossagne, Ocean Remix”, is a complex solo accompanied by two duets. Her Haitian roots also heavily influenced this piece, she said, but she used more varied styles of movement.

Five spectacular dancers, a great drummer, and fascinating music made this show fun while giving it depth and meaning in the wake of the recent earthquake in Haiti.

These two opening events were just a small portion of the Arts Walk.

Within walking distance, there are plenty of local artists displaying their works, DJs spinning fun and upbeat music, face painting, food, and much more.

Down the street, in the Life Arts building, there was another DJ set up, and two fun attractions sure to interest youth in the area.

The Legal Street Art Exposition featured striking photos of street art found in the area. Later that night, there was also a comedy show, “Joe Comedy” in the front room of the Life Arts building which only added more smiles.

With so much to see and do, and only three hours to take it all in, you are bound to miss something. Luckily, the Arts Walk takes place every first Thursday of the month from 6 to 9 p.m. and each month features something new, with 24 participating locations along University Avenue and Mission Inn Avenue.

Information about next month’s Arts Walk and maps of participating locations can be found at www.InlandArts.com and the information desk inside the Riverside Art Museum located at 3425 Mission Inn Avenue.

Call (951) 682-6737 for details or to set up a tour or visit www.RiversideCulturalConsortium.org.