Riverside artists light the streets

Artists from every angle of the talent spectrum took to the streets of historic downtown Riverside for an eventful night of music, underground culture, urban and abstract art, and social empowerment.

Arts walk is made possible by Riverside Cultural Consortium with hopes of raising profiles of Arts and culture in the Inland Empire.

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By Rosie Godinez / Staff Writer

By Rosie Godinez / Staff Writer

 Artists from every angle of the talent spectrum took to the streets of historic downtown Riverside for an eventful night of music, underground culture, urban and abstract art, and social empowerment.

Arts walk is made possible by Riverside Cultural Consortium with hopes of raising profiles of Arts and culture in the Inland Empire.

The event holds over 20 different art galleries, exhibits, live art, free activities, music and dance performances, and refreshments.

University Avenue and Market Street being the center stage of the excitement where visitors could find peaceful art enthusiasts, families, couples, social rebels, musicians, artists, and dancers brought together by the true love of arts and creativity.

Arts walk takes place every first Thursday of the month and is a child friendly environment, open to everyone.

Belly dancers gave life to the sidewalk and embraced Middle Eastern culture, with bright red and orange colored outfits and beautiful displays of body movement and rhythm that captured the eyes of both men and women, as sounds of the Middle East rang through the hearts and ears of the spectators.

Another very interesting find about Arts walk is that art was not only expressed through canvases but also through clothing design, buttons, bows, woodcraft, and jewelry all hand crafted.

One design artist hand crocheted beanies, which looked exactly like wearing a cupcake on your head.

Nick Peterson, a sculpture artist created skeleton-like faces by sculpting pieces of palm trees which he described as palm tree frond art. Peterson’s tiki, skeleton faces are truly marvelous and reveal some of the truly creative tools artists use in their pieces of work.

Nothing is off limits to artists creations. For example artists might use a soda can, a piece of a palm tree, feathers, bottle caps, you name it, creativity is limitless in the world of art.

Artists painted pieces that represented heartbreak, loneliness, temptation, civil rights, independence from society and cultural empowerment to name a few.

“I stand up for my own rights and I refuse to quit,” said social activist and artist Renne Alina Barela. “I’m strong because I know who I am.”

Every artist had a very inspiring definition of self character which empowered their art even further and allowed them to create powerfully impacting works, in which spectators of all types could relate their feelings.

Art is an illustration of emotion, design of emotion, or a creation of sound manifested through the heart and soul of its creator.

The greatest feelings emerged through actually hearing what the artists had to say about what inspires them and why they do what they love.

These artists were all very humble and knowledgeable and embracing each other through the pure genuine love of art, dance, and music.

You could find punks socializing with hip-hop, spectators of every color, every race and social scene, with the focus being art appreciation and education of underground culture and life style.

As 9 p.m. approached decorated tables and makeshift walls began to come down, though it had no affect on the drummers whatsoever.

Drummers equipped with bongo drums, maracas, and tambourines kept the energy flowing through the crowd with an exotic sound of beats which resembled the liveliness and spirit- lifting vivacity of a full on pow-wow.

Spectators caught the rhythm through the sound and vibrations and began dancing wildly, and laughing together. It was difficult to refrain from catching the beat in your soul as the drummers were so full of life and light regardless that it was completely night time and nearing 10:30 p.m.

For those who enjoy embracing beautiful colors meaningful paintings, festive dancing, exploring different cultures, then the Riverside Arts Walk is definitely the place to be.

Arts walk is held from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. the first Thursday of every month in Downtown Riverside, unless you find the drummers which keep the fiesta rolling.

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