The past 18 months have been a challenge for everyone, and we cannot thank the artists, sponsors, and patrons that came out to the 2021 Whyte Avenue Art Walk enough for their dedication and audaciousness. For eight weeks, Edmonton artists showcased their talents and sold their art as part of the giant experiment that was the 2021 Whyte Avenue Art Walk.
This year’s event moved indoors to the former Army & Navy building and featured 35 to 55 artists each week for a total of 347 artists.
“It was a huge risk to try a big art exhibition after restrictions were lifted. Artists were thrilled to come out and show all they have created over the past 1 years+ of isolation. Some artists brought 100 + pieces and we filled 25,000 square feet on two floors. Whether you are an artist, a collector, or just curious about our event, it was a visual feast full of inspiration.”” Kim Fjordbotten, Whyte Avenue Art Walk Co-Producer, The Paint Spot
We had almost 8,000 people come out over the 8 weekends from June 11 through August 1st. For many artists, this was the first time they were able to display their work publicly in over a year and we cannot underestimate the importance of that in-person connection with audiences and artists, and the artists with each other. The Whyte Avenue Art Walk was honoured to provide that connection in a safe environment as we slowly move out of the pandemic.
We expected everyone to mask-up and almost everyone was happy to do that, even drawing on the transition from protocols. That was a win for keeping all of us safe. We’ve had zero reports of transmission, and we have tracked and traced. Thank you for that.
We reached over 24,000 people via our active social media platforms with almost 900 combined posts and 12,000 followers. Our objective was to highlight as many artists as possible and provide them with content they can use moving forward to continue to promote their work. Our social media also included special promotion for 10 neighbourhood businesses encouraging out artists and patrons to re-engage with Old Strathcona restaurants, retails stores, and services.
And we cannot forget the beautiful windows showcasing collections of artists for everyone on the avenue to enjoy for June and July. A special thank you to Nextfest, Edmonton Art Club, Night of Artists and the Sculptors Association of Alberta for providing work for our window gallery. Thank you to Terry Smith for the window design that animated the whole block.
This event could also not have been possible without the continued support of Edmonton Artists, with help from our event Sponsor, District Whyte – Old Strathcona Business Association, our event partners, The Paint Spot, Ice on Whyte Festival Society, and Wild Heart Collective/The Public, and our funder, The Edmonton Arts Council.
We do not know what next year will bring, but we do know we will be back in Old Strathcona July 8 to 10, 2022, and the management of the event will be moving over to the Ice on Whyte Festival Society.
In the meantime, keep creating and we will see you next year!