Arts: Stride and ride
Art tours offered chances to meet & greet local artists
John “jaQ” Andrews
Local art can be diffcult to scope out sometimes. Wouldn’t it be groovy
if there were regular, scheduled tours of the neatest galleries in the
city? With brochures and refreshments and everything?
Manchester has been offering such a tour since 2001, and Nashua started a similar
program this fall. As we look back on 2005, the Open Doors Manchester
trolley tour and Art Walk Nashua stand out as great ways to plunge
yourself to the local arts scene.
Open Doors Manchester took place on four Thursday evenings: April 28,
June 23, Sep. 22 and Nov. 17. Two old-fashioned trolleys scuttled about
the city, ferrying passengers to nearly a dozen venues, including the
Currier Museum of Art, the Millyard Museum and the Franco-American
Walk Nashua brought the concept of an art tour to the Gate City. No
trolleys, though — with the exception of a few outlying galleries, most
of the venues were located either right downtown or in the millyard.
all accounts from the gallery owners and artists it went extremely
well,” said Sarah DiSano, Executive Director of Great American Downtown,
the organizing body behind the Art Walk. “They had consistently higher
attendance than usual.” She said that some galleries reported 200
visitors on one Saturday, while their normal number of customers was
Walk Nashua started in September with 16 official venues, but galleries
clamored to be put on the official roster. The November date was named
one of the top ten things to do in New England by boston.com. By the
fourth event in December, 23 locations were listed, with more latching
on unsanctioned. DiSano didn’t mind.
felt, the more the merrier,” she said.
Next year’s Art Walk Nashua will build on this year’s success, DiSano
said, but might be structured differently. Possibilities include
changing the dates — for example, becoming a quarterly event rather than
four walks clustered in the last four months of the year. Great American
Downtown is also considering a shuttle service to help people get