St. Helens 'Artwalk' draws a crowd, but organizers seek improvement
Chamber organizers plan to revise activities, logistics for follow-up event later this month
The inaugural St. Helens art walk held Thursday, March 31, is being considered a success for bringing artists and business owners together.
Organizers are evaluating, however, how to improve a follow-up event in late April. Though turnout met expectations, few participants stuck around till the end or joined in planned artwalk activities.
The St. Helens Spring Into Art Walk was a partnership between the Columbia Arts Guild, the South Columbia Chamber of Commerce and its Visitor Center, St. Helens Economic Development Corp., and the Main Street Program. It was intended to bring together local businesses, artists and community members in a casual setting.
Gretchen Williams, the chambers Visitor Center representative, said the event successfully united the St. Helens business and artistic communities. Many participants told Williams they ventured into businesses they had never been to before to meet different artists and discover their artwork.
But while the turnout exceeded 30 to 40 people, only three people visited all 16 locations with in-house artists, and only eight people turned in maps indicating where they went.
Williams also only received two entries for the events coloring contest held the week beforehand.
Williams said the organizing groups plan to reevaluate the logistics of the event to increase interactions between artists and the public.
The hope is to include more vendors and give more people time to participate, Williams said.
Several organizers in Scappoose are already discussing how to plan a similar event.
Find more photos from the event, below.