Arts | The Riverside Artswalk
By: Katrina Honer
Quiet Downtown Riverside becomes bustling with life when artists run the night at the monthly Riverside Arts Walk.
Rain or shine, the Riverside Artswalk is held on the first Thursday of every month from 6-9p.m. It is a free event and open to the public, where artists and art lovers alike can gather beneath the stars to enjoy an evening of open art galleries, live performances, crafts, and of course, purchasing one-of-a-kind artwork.
Although I have been a Riverside native for the past 13 years, the last time I attended an Artswalk was during my freshman year in college. Seeing as it was a perfect warm summer evening, I grabbed my camera and drove downtown to check out the action.
The evening’s itinerary offered nine different events and 20 venues for all ages to explore. One event that caught my eye was Design After Dark 6 at the Riverside Arts Museum .
Sponsored by the Art Institute of California, Design After Dark 6 took place on the roof of the museum where guests were encouraged to bring art supplies of all kinds to enjoy creating beneath the California sky. A live painting demonstration by artist Juan Carlos Munoz Hernandez and a live band only added to the uniqueness of this art session. For those afraid of heights, the museum also had a mask making workshop, a dance performance and exhibits happening inside.
With so much to do in so little time, I decided to head toward the Artist Vendor Lot, the heart of the Artswalk. At the corner of Lemon Street and University Avenue, this lot is where the talented come to display and sell their homemade artistic works.
University Avenue was packed with curious visitors as many traveled in an out of restaurants and shops that offered special Artswalk deals. One of the most popular deals that evening seemed to be with The Inland Empire Record Collective pop up shop. Stationed outside Worthington’s Tavern, music gurus and collectors swarmed boxes of vinyl ranging in price from $1 o $5 in search of classic jams.
When I finally approached the lot, I was awed to find so many different artists selling all mediums of art including jewelry, paintings, clothing, and woodwork. With countless talented individuals, I wanted to share five artists whose work I found most intriguing:
Joseph Genuino of Tenrai Ocarina has been attending the Artswalk for eight months and crafts these beautifully shaped and masterfully colored ocarinas. Each ocarina sold comes with directions on how to use one and songs to practice. Joseph informed me the size of the ocarina changes the sound it will make—the smaller the ocarina, the higher the pitch.
Not only can Enyse Medina of Chinx Art master a spray can to create stunning masterpieces, she actually uses spray cans as her canvas. Her painted spray cans are one of the most popular items she sells. A vendor at the Artswalk for over a year and a half, I was intrigued with how creatively she blends Latin American and Asian styles into urban art forms.
Toxicpuppys: What is so unique about Stevie Belleperche’s line of jewelry is her ability to give “dead a new life” by making animal bones and remains the coolest new accessory. With mink vertebrae pendants and shark tooth earrings, Stevie creates a variety of fashionable pieces. The bones Stevie uses in her jewelry are ones she often finds during hikes around the Lake Matthews area and in her backyard. Don’t worry; Stevie assured me that all bones are cleaned and sanitized before she uses them in her artwork.
Nick Hernandez Art: If you are a fan of horror movies and comic books, you’ll love Nick Hernandez’s colorful works. His prints sell for $5 each with frame included. From Dracula to Spiderman, I am confident you’ll find the perfect print to match any scary movie or comic book you can think of.
Briana Mendez of Beelovly clothing specializes in adorable costumes and outfits for infants. From dresses to rompers, her outfits are so intricate in design that I would not be suprised if your child becomes the next trendsetter wearing one of her pieces. In addition to costumes, Briana also designs moccasins for infants.
Whether you are an art connoisseur, or you are interested in showcasing your artwork, be sure to save the date for the next Riverside Artswalk.
The Riverside Artswalk takes place on the first Thursday of the month that involves several venues and locations throughout Downtown Riverside. It is hosted by the Riverside Arts Council and sponsored by the City of Riverside and Riverside Downtown Partnership. For more information please visit their website.