By Marianne Salza
The Beacon Hill Art Walk is normally held on the first week in June, when the streets, alleys, and courtyards of the North Slope are bustling with artists and patrons. This year, due to the pandemic, the gathering transitioned into a two-day online art sale, for the health and safety of the community. On October 3-4, over 30 artists selected 20 of their favorite works from this past year to be displayed and sold in a web gallery.
“The Art Walk was a great success,” said Jen Matson, a Beacon Hill Art Walk organizer. “While we were sad not to see everyone in person, we were thrilled that many people came to look at the sale and purchase artwork.”
Patrons were able to easily buy sculptures, jewelry, photographs, and pottery by visiting BeaconHillArtWalk.com, where they were linked to the profiles and personal websites of the artists.
With no live art exhibits or art festivals this year, remaining engaged with customers, and feeling inspired has been difficult for many artists. Matson hopes that the online Art Walk has provided creators with an outlet and support during this time of isolation.
“We have been trying to be active on social media, and post new work on websites,” explained Matson. “There’s some interaction, but it is nothing like in-person conversations.”
Between 2,000-5,000 people ordinarily visit Beacon Hill during the outdoor Art Walk, but Matson is pleased that some 1,000 people still partook in the online format.
“Selling art online is tough because people want to touch it, hold it, and talk to the artist about how it was made, and get the story behind it,” described Matson. “We’re happy that most of the artists in the sale sold something, and many sold more than one item.”