The first of two ArtWalk opening receptions will be held July 5 from 6 to 9 p.m.

ArtWalk celebrates 25 years of showcasing art in unique venues downtown Nelson

You know it’s summer in Nelson when the ArtWalk signs start popping up in front of downtown shops and galleries.

You know it’s summer in Nelson when the ArtWalk signs start popping up in front of downtown shops and galleries.

The annual art showcase is celebrating its 25th year of pairing emerging and professional artists in our community with businesses willing to display their work.

This year ArtWalk will kick off on Friday, July 5 with opening receptions at the 16 participating venues and a street party packed with artsy activities and performances in the 400-block of Baker Street.

The event starts at 6 p.m. with the Kootenay Keltie Pipe Band marching the ArtWalk route. Throughout the evening, there will be musicians playing around the route, providing ambiance for your art viewing experience.

On Baker Street you can watch four local sand sculptors, as they craft small sculptures live for the audience. Local dancer/choreographer Thomas Loh will be there leading a performance art group with a surprise presentation. And, there will be a chance to make a painting of your own at the “partici-painting” station.

For the kids, 4Cats Art Studio will offer splatter painting and there will also be face painting.

A new literary element has been added to this year’s tour. The “Poetry Lives Here” project will launch at the same time as the ArtWalk and will feature 20 poems printed on the walls and streets along the same route.

This year, ArtWalk will feature two separate exhibits and launch events. The first show will be swapped out at the end of the month and a second round of opening receptions will take place on August 7.

ArtWalk is presented by Nelson and District Arts Council. For more info see ndac.ca/nelson-artwalk.