Sweetwater takes lead on Sewickley Spring Gallery Walk

Sweetwater's Historic Building

Sweetwater Center for the Arts has taken over responsibility for this year’s Sewickley Spring Gallery Walk.

The community-supported arts organization plans to add its own touch to the event, which takes place from 6 to 9 p.m. April 27.

Sweetwater and three other Sewickley galleries — Bock Tott Gallery, Zoe’s Oddz & Endz Gallery and Sewickley Gallery & Frame Shop — each will display their own art exhibits.

Artists also have created themed, site-specific installations inside Sweetwater.

The exhibition, called “Corners of Thought,” explores what happens on the periphery of our lives — things we might not notice or remember.

To enhance this exhibit, the Village Garden Club of Sewickley has partnered with Sweetwater for an “Art Blooms” flower show.

“The members of the club will create original flower arrangements inspired by the art works in Sweetwater’s current exhibition,” said Alexandra Watrous, artistic coordinator at Sweetwater.

Thomas Walters, executive director of the center, jumped at the opportunity to produce the gallery walk. The nonprofit marketing group Explore Sewickley had led organizing the walk the last several years.

“When I found out that Explore Sewickley wasn’t going to organize the event, I quickly volunteered to take the lead,” Walters said. “An event that brings people together in our community to celebrate the arts is central to our mission.”

Mark Rengers of Sewickley Gallery & Frame Shop can’t wait for this year’s walk. He plans on displaying works from three artists based in Western Pennsylvania — Kit Paulsen, Ron Thurston and Bill Vrscak. He’ll serve food and refreshments to his guests, as well.

“They’re all watercolor artists and they all have a very similar palette, so it ought to be a beautiful show from that perspective. We’re probably going to have 25 or 26 works in total, from all three of them. So I’m excited, more excited about this one than I have been in a long time,” Rengers said.

Walters, who officially took over as Sweetwater’s executive director in February, knows how much the gallery walk means to Sewickley.

“Members of this community, perhaps more than others in our region, are true patrons of the arts,” he said. “A lot has changed since Sweetwater first opened its doors in 1975, but we still retain a strong base of support from so many families right here in Sewickley. I think (the) fact that we have a Spring Gallery Walk speaks to that local, homegrown support.”

Sam Bojarski is a Tribune-Review contributing writer.

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