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Belleville gets creative for Downtown Art Crawl

By Rachel Stark [1] and Selena Steele-Clough [2]

BELLEVILLE – Locals had the chance to express their creative side Thursday evening for the Belleville Downtown Art Crawl [3].

Galleries downtown opened past closing hours to display art work created by people living in or around Belleville.

Owners of the Artists and Artisans [4] gallery Peter Paylor and Lisa Morris said they created the event hoping to give the chance for the community to come together in a creative way.

“We wanted to allow the community to have the opportunity to have a place and a moment to display art,” Paylor said.

All artists were welcomed to contribute to the art crawl. The galleries that were a part of the event gave artists the opportunity to have their work displayed in the galleries and to the community.

Susan Holland, curator of the John M. Parrot Art Gallery [5], was at the event and said that she hoped this event would attract newcomers to art.

“I hope we will get people who will discover us for the first time. That someone will be brought into the gallery by a friend and they’ll discover some art work they didn’t even know they liked,” Holland said.

Michael Malachowski owns Funk and Gruven A-Z [6], an antique and furniture art store downtown. Malachowski said it is important for Belleville to give the community a chance to engage in creative experiences.

“We want to give young people in our community the opportunities to experience (the artistic process) because they are the ones who have to go out into the world,” Malachowski said. “They are going to do far better if they are going to have those experiences earlier in life.”

Paylor and Morris said they plan to continue the art crawl the first Thursday of every month, with the possibility of adding new art forms in the future such as musical performances.