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About five years after it began, the Rochester Downtown ARTWALK is still going strong. Back in its early stages, Tessa and I sat on the ARTWALK planning committee on behalf on Söntés. At the time, I had no idea that our efforts would lead to such a long-lasting event—although of course I hoped they would! The concepts proposed on that early planning committee have been taken up by others, changed and improved upon, but the commitment to the arts and to the Rochester community has remained exactly the same.

At the time I sat on the planning committee, I had moved to Rochester from Saint Paul only about one year prior. The art walk scene in the Twin Cities was vibrant and strong, and I had definitely been missing that feeling of artsy camaraderie. Looking about the meeting room at the Rochester Downtown Alliance, I was heartened by the enthusiasm and dedication of everyone at the table.

And when the crowds came strolling on into Söntés on the evening of the event, I just couldn’t keep the grin off of my face. The mood on that chilly autumn night in the Downtown corridor was festive as people walked in small clumps from place to place, checking out the work of local artists and supporting local small businesses. The community may have been smaller than that of the Twin Cities, but it was just as strong.

And it remains so! In fact, thanks to the effort and attention of Rochesterites, it may be even stronger. At Söntés, we look forward to each ARTWALK as another chance to help our community connect with its artists.

At each event we see familiar faces and we see new ones. And if you haven’t been to one yet, we hope to see you at the next one! It’s coming up quickly here, in fact. Join us and a number of other Downtown businesses on Thursday, October 18th from 5 to 9pm for another great ARTWALK.

That evening at Söntés, you’ll have the chance to meet  a guest artist in addition to viewing our new, curated art show. Artist is Sophia Garcia, a 24-year-old single mother who creates jewelry art—anything from earrings to necklaces to rings. Sophia says of her work, “I make jewelry out of re-purposed materials in attempt to create something beautiful whilst doing my part as a caretaker on this earth.”