Bermuda Art Walk
This novel concept started in November 2011 when a group of local artists (then known as St. Gorge's Artists Alliance) conceived the idea of art walk - a self guided walk along the streets of St. George to see the artworks from various artists of all types in the island. They had no funding or sponsors then and the event was held at the private courtyard of erstwhile CV Cafe.
You could sip a cup of coffee and watch crafty artwork from some of the talented local artists. It was a success with a turn out of more than 200. Since then there was no looking back. Today it's one of the most popular art festivals where thousands come and take a walk along the streets in St. George to view various forms of artworks.
The Art Walk now includes display of talents from artists of all types, for example pottery items, paintings, tattoo, handcrafted cedar, ceramics, weaving, drumming, dance, singing, instruments and even spoken words. And the festival has now expanded to share not only Bermuda's local talents, but also its cultural and community vibes and heritage.
Many retail stores, restaurants and art galleries in St. George join the festival and display the artwork from various local artists. There are live entertainment along the streets. Local food vendors and stores stay open till late in the evening and serve snacks like fish platters, traditional codfish, fritters etc as well as alcoholic beverages to make it more attractive to all. It is not only an opportunity for artists from all around the island to showcase their skills many of who do not otherwise get such a platform, it is also a great opportunity for islanders and tourists to see and buy great local artwork, and of course enjoy a wonderful carnival like festival which has earned a great name for itself.
Bermuda Art Walk, St. George, Bermuda
So how do you go about visiting the various artwork and interactive displays? You can start from King's Square which is the town center of St. George. Then walk down Water Street all the way up to the World Heritage Center. From King's Square you should also visit Ordnance Island (short walk) and also stroll along Duke of York Street. You will get a free map for self guided walk from most of the participating retail stores. Otherwise just follow the other walkers
Other than numerous store front galleries and participating retailers, you will also find many artists displaying their work right by the street side, some having put up their paintings at the corner of the lanes, some dancing, playing instruments, singing, playing in bands etc to show their skills. It's a great opportunity to chat with some of them.
When is Bermuda Art Walk held?
The annual event is usually held in October or November on a weekend night in St. George's (usually on a Saturday). Sometimes a second one is held in summer or early spring.
Update March 2017: This year it's named "Knot the Art Walk" and will be held on Water Street and Town Square, St. George's on Saturday May 27, 2017 between 1pm to 6pm. The Tall Ships will also be in port in St. George's at the same time.
Update November 2015: The fall Art Walk (named as Carnival of Light) was held on October 25, 2015 at St. Georges. Puppet show, art, music, fashion show, dance, kids crafts etc took place between 2pm to 6pm. From 6:30pm to 8:30pm the focus shifted to Tobacco Bay where live musical performances took place on the beach.
Update February 2015: The 2015 Art Walk has been named 'Carnival of Light 2015' and will be held at St. George's on Feb 27th (Saturday) between 6pm to 10pm. As the title suggests the theme will be lights. So artists are expected to make creative use of lights in their artwork be it glow paints in dark, or candle sticks, flashlights or whatever. Store front galleries, area restaurants and many vendors and retailers will participate in this fun filled event.
Update June 2013: The St. George's Event Committee that organizes the Art Walk in fall, has organized an additional one in the summer. It's called Summer Art Walk. The Bermuda National Gallery has also opened its new satellite gallery in St. George's on the same day. Some highlights of the event includes Chewstick performances (several artists performed at Kings Square from 4pm to 10pm including bands, spoken word artists, African Dance Company, majorettes etc), Fashion show at the World Heritage Center, many artists of the island exhibiting their work at various places in St George including at St. George's Club, Globe Hotel, several restaurants etc.
Update October 2012: The second Art Walk in St. George was a big hit. About 700 people turned out for the event. Artwork like paintings, pottery and cedar carvings were on display all across the town. The walk was joined by the performance artists of the island as well. Even many restaurants in the town exhibited artwork from local artists.
Update November 2011: An Art Walk has been recently organized by Bermuda's local artists. It was held at St. George's on a Saturday and had drawn a great response from the islanders. The streets, shops and the restaurants of the Olde Town was bustling with people who were keen to know about the recent art scene. The event was further augmented by the several art shops and galleries that have come up in St. George in the recent times.
One such new addition is Kali Swainson’s art shop located at 32 Water Street. Her collections included work from the former Mayor of St George’s, Alfred Birdsey, Charles Lloyd Tucker, Chelsey Trott etc. Other new art shops include Gary MacPherson's Endemic Art Collective located further up, and Chris Dawson’s art gallery and studio at 4 Penno's Wharf. People had the opportunity of meeting the artists who were present at the galleries and interact with them.
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