After a one-year hiatus, El Segundo’s beloved summertime art event returns this month.
By Maureen Kingsley
El Segundo ArtWalk will return this summer after taking a necessary break during the height of the novel-coronavirus pandemic last year. The annual event mixes original artwork and its creators with local business owners, curious pedestrians, live entertainment, food, drink, and a sense of celebration and summery joy. This year’s ArtWalk will do the same, spanning one full afternoon and evening on Saturday, August 28th rather than the usual three shorter evenings during the course of the summer.
“We’ll be putting on the very best event we can,” says John McCullough, one of the ArtWalk’s producers. “As always, this year’s ArtWalk will include South Bay artists hosted by local businesses and organizations. It will include a central tent and beer garden in the public parking lot next to El Segundo Fire Department. It will offer live entertainment, and it will be held mainly outdoors.” The community is invited to attend some or all of the free, six-hour event.
About 50 El Segundo businesses will participate, spanning Downtown El Segundo, several blocks of Main Street between Grand Avenue and Library Park, and portions of Smoky Hollow. Cultural centers ESMoA and El Segundo Public Library will host visitors, and a large art installation is planned for the central-tent area.
“We’ve created a partnership with BeachLife Music Festival this year,” John shares, “so they are booking talent for us and will possibly sponsor a proposed Smoky Hollow stage for live music.” As of this writing, in late July, John and his co-producer, George Renfro, have plans to designate a block of the city’s Smoky Hollow district as “pedestrians only” during ArtWalk, pending approval by city officials. If the approval is granted, John says, it will improve the flow of foot traffic in that area and facilitate planned stage performances.
One of the bands scheduled to perform at this summer’s ArtWalk is Hoist the Colors, a true “hometown hero” band that includes members from El Segundo and plays a blend of punk rock, traditional Irish music, and bluegrass, John says.
“I’m so excited El Segundo ArtWalk is rising from the ashes,” says Josette Murphy, Founder and Principal of About:Space Studios, an interior-design firm located at 305 Richmond Street. Josette has been involved with ArtWalk from its inception several years ago, and this year her business will be hosting artist Sabrina Armitage and musical group The Main Street Band. “We’re also going to have a little section for Waterhouse Guild school, with a free kids’ craft” offered at the studio, she adds. “This town loves El Segundo ArtWalk. It’s such a community builder.”
El Segundo-based artists Natalie Strong and Neal Von Flue will be showing work at Neal’s studio in Smoky Hollow. “The return of ArtWalk definitely feels like a turning point toward normal life,” Natalie says. “I’m very excited and hope it never gets canceled again.”
Logistics + Sponsorships
For public safety, El Segundo ArtWalk will operate within CDC guidelines and any city public-health restrictions in effect at the time of the event, John says. He adds that there will be security personnel present as well.
Attendees are encouraged to walk to the event as they are able, and parking will be available in public lots and along side streets. The free event runs Saturday, August 28th from 3pm to 9pm, with a central gathering spot, information center, and food and drink for purchase at the El Segundo Fire Department parking lot at the corner of Main Street and Grand Avenue.
Local sponsors of this summer’s ArtWalk include BeachLife Festival, Nicol Realty, 1-800-GOT-JUNK, El Segundo Brewing Company, and Boulevard Brewing. The City of El Segundo and El Segundo’s Arts & Culture Advisory Committee are presenting sponsors.
This story appears in the August 2021 issue of The El Segundo Scene.