Artwalk 2019 .jpg

Downtown Hollister was bustling in June 2019 during the Art Walk hosted by State of the Ozarks.

April kicks off the 2021 season with an event in Hollister that helps showcase the artistic expression of locals.

On Friday, April 2 from 6 to 9 p.m.  the State of the Ozarks opens its monthly First Friday Art Walk series. The event, which takes place in downtown Hollister, allows local artisans to showcase and sell their art to the public. 

“We are beginning our third season,” said State of the Ozarks Editor-in-Chief Josh Heston. “I am excited. It is really good for the town and it is fun.”

SOTO has expanded their first Friday event this year into more space so they can feature more artists, according to Heston.

“The last two years we have run 12 to 16 participating artists each month.” said Heston. “Something that is a shift this year, that will allow us to expand, is we are now working on a partnership with the city of Hollister. Art walk is going into public spaces downtown, that includes Downing Street sidewalk from Foggy River Realty to All Teased Up and also we will be able to use the promenada area between the salon and Hook and Ladder for our artists to set up. We will also still have some artists set up inside downtown businesses, but being able to utilize the outdoor space allows us more visibility to draw in more attention.”

According to Heston, the first Friday event enables local artists a chance to share the talents that sometimes stay hidden in our everyday lives. 

“One of the biggest things and something that is difficult for many creative people is that we don’t walk around with a sign that says ask me about my creativity,” said Heston. “Something that I found is that we are constantly surrounded by these incredible talented people. They could be writers, painters, sculptors, or potters. They are so talented, but if you were walking beside them at the grocery store or talking to them you would never know they create these amazing things. So for me, the artwalk is a monthly opportunity for the community to meet these highly creative people in a context where they can showcase their work and inspire others.”

Heston hopes that the event will bring the community together in a unique shared experience in a community building effort in Hollister and the Ozarks. 

“It is really easy to overlook the importance of shared experiences in our day to day lives in our home,” said Heston. “For so many of us, Hollister and the Ozarks are home. This gives us the chance to be able to come together and enjoy a community experience that makes the sum greater than its parts. It is bigger for our community than just the individual elements of it. It is a way to create and inspire those around us.”

According to Heston, the art walk event has room for more artists to participate and for those who are not artistically inclined there are volunteer opportunities as well. 

“We always have room for more artists,” said Heston.  “We always have a call for volunteers to help as well. We are fortunate to  have great volunteers that have been with us since the beginning, but there is room for more.”

First Friday Art Walk is hosted in downtown Hollister, April through December.

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