Sidewalk art draws crowds

Visitors were treated to an artists' view Saturday at the Montrose Shopping Park, where the sidewalks were lined with paintings, pottery and vintage black-and-white photographs as part of the quarterly Montrose Art Walk.

The event serves to stimulate the local art community, said Mike Perry, president of the Montrose-Verdugo City Chamber, which sponsors the event. Artists get the opportunity to display and sell their work, while residents are exposed to high-quality art.

In addition, it helps drive traffic on Honolulu Avenue, he said, which suffered during the 2008 economic recession.

"All these businesses up and down Honolulu, they are all kind of slow right now," Perry said. "So we like to bring traffic on a Saturday when they are open … We hope the increased traffic will increase revenue for some of the local businesses."

Artists pay $40 to participate, and there is space for up to 47 artists. Most of the work on display Saturday consisted of landscape paintings done in oils and water colors. Other work included paintings on glass, pottery and hand-painted note cards, and a portrait artist was painting on-the-spot portraits for $10.

Visitors, many walking dogs and baby strollers, meandered up and down Honolulu Avenue between Ocean View Boulevard and Las Palmas Avenue. They chatted with artists, as well as neighbors and friends.

"We are lucky it was on another beautiful day; that is good for business," Jane Kane said. "You get to go out and enjoy your community. It brings people out and keeps the arts in the foothills."

The sidewalks of Montrose provide a great venue to bring art to the community, said participating artist Karen Winters, of La Cañada Flintridge.

"There is a wide variety of people who come by to appreciate art, to purchase art, to introduce art to their families," Winters said. "I see many of the same people year after year."

Mary Jane Klune, also of La Cañada and president of the Verdugo Hills Art Assn., has been showing at the Montrose Art Walk for seven years.


"We have a lot of support from the chamber, and there are a lot of artists I know here, too, so that is kind of fun."

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