ESAC cancels First Friday walk

Online event to be held on Facebook


FAIRHOPE – The Eastern Shore Arts Center canceled the First Friday Art Walk scheduled for Friday, July 3.

The ESAC will be posting live footage from the Art Center on its Facebook page on Friday with ESAC Executive Director Bryant Whelan will be guiding visitors through the galleries and Gift Shop, discussing how people can support local artists during the COVID-19 pandemic and economic slow times.

Whelan said the staff and Board of Directors made a difficult decision to call off the Art Walk.

“In the past we have had over 500 attend Art Walk even on the holiday weekend,” she said. “We had high hopes with countless safety precautions in place, but ultimately knew that the best solution was to avoid the possibility of a crowd too large to sustain proper distancing.” Whelan expressed disappointment, stating that this is the time that the Art Center really needs the support of the community to continue our mission. July’s event marks the fourth Art Walk to be cancelled due to the COVID pandemic.”

Whelan said the cancellation also comes after the ESAC called off two of its largest annual fundraisers – the 48th Annual Outdoor Art Show and 3rd Annual White Linen Night.

“Even with so many cancellations, we are still planning ways to engage the community through art,” said Marketing Director Adrienne Clow. “We have instated online galleries and virtual classes that can both be accessed from home, including community art projects such as the Quarantine Quilt.”

The ESAC galleries closed March 17 when Gov. Kay Ivey issued a “Stay At Home” order for Alabama. The center reopened on June 16.

The Eastern Shore Art Center galleries are open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Visitors are encouraged to come to the center during those times. visit during these times. Online galleries are up around the clock including the opening of folk-art legend Betty Sue Matthews.

Matthews, 1944 – 2018, was a completely self-taught, Alabama “outsider” artist working in unconventional materials. Matthews’ work has been exhibited in the Smithsonian and the Rosa Parks Museum. All exhibiting work is for sale to benefit the Eastern Shore Art Center and Alabama Artists.