The Frederick Art Walk is a 4 km walking tour through one of Kitchener's oldest neighbourhoods, bounded by Victoria and Krug Steets (on the north and south), Lancaster Street and East Avenue. Participants can enjoy the beauty of a fall day and the pleasure of exquisite artworks, in a setting of grand maple trees and century-old homes. The Art Walk features an amazing array of hand-crafted works for sale, including fabric art, paintings, chocolate, photography, pottery, stained glass, sewing crafts, and jewellery. The Art Walk is held on the same weekend in November every year. Each year donations to a selected charity are encouraged.
I always try to make it out to the Frederick Art Walk each year. Sometimes, if you're lucky you can find something you didn't even know you were looking for. Three years ago, a friend of mine walked out of one of the stops with a table that wasn't even for sale. No, she didn't steal it. The homeowner saw her eyeing a table that was in the front porch enclosure and as we were leaving he said that he was going to get rid of it and if she wanted it, please take it, for free. She still has that gorgeous table and the story of its acquisition is a great conversation starter and jealousy maker.
Frederick Art Walk media lead Melissa from YIMBY Honey (one of the stops on the walk at 1 Krug Street), answered some questions about this years event.
Pictured above. What you'll find at 1 Krug Street. L-R: YIMBY Honey- Raw artisanal honey sourced from your neighbours’ gardens, and beeswax candles & beauty products—uncontaminated by the antibiotics and pesticides used by commercial beekeepers. Nik Harron- Textured acrylic paintings and infinity mirrorboxes. Essiemae Soapbox Soaps- Natural, handcrafted soaps from wildcrafted herbs.
1. How many artists are participating this year?
Nearly 100! (it was 95 at the time the brochures were printed, but some houses add "homeless" artists at the last minute that don't get included in the brochures.
2. Do you have an idea of how many people usually attend the walk? Are those numbers tracked?
We don't do formal a count, but we estimate about 2000 art walkers.
3. Each year donations to a selected charity are encouraged. What charity has been selected for 2017?
For the last couple years, we've been collecting donations for Suddaby. Because the art walk is always on the 2nd Saturday in November, it falls on Remembrance Day this year. We wanted to find a way to show our respect and gratitude, so we've decided that we will collect donations for veterans and their families, via the Poppy Fund.
4. Where can the Art Walk brochure be found?
All the details about the art walk can be found at http://www.frederickartwalk.org/
Specifically, the brochure can be found in 4 jpg files here: http://www.frederickartwalk.org/awBrochure2017.html and in hard-copy at like-minded businesses throughout the community.
5. If local artists want to participate in a future art walk, how would they go about doing so?
The art walk is primarily made up of artists who live in the neighbourhood, but many houses are open to accepting "homeless" artists, if they have extra space. Registration forms are available on the website in Feb-March.
6. What's next for the Frederick Art Walk?
FAW started with only 10 artists in 8 houses in 2001. Now that it's grown to 35 houses and nearly 100 artists, it is bursting at the seams! The seams, or creases of our brochure, specifically. Our community is very full of creative people, but we're limited by the size of the brochure to adequately feature the artisans who participate. We're starting to have conversations in the meetings about how we can continue to grow within these constraints, or whether we will have to start placing limitations on the number of artists/houses. It's a pretty exciting problem to have, which we will have to continue to address as a collective. Or eventually you'll see people pulling out full-sized maps to navigate the art walk.
I hope you find some gems on this year's walk. Please come back and share your finds with me in the comments.
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Story by Glodeane Brown
Photos from Frederick Art Walk website