Anaheim – a city mostly connoted with the famed Disneyland – is lesser known for its extensive cultural and artistic community, which was present last weekend in the quarter annual ArtCrawlExperience (ACE) located in Downtown Anaheim.
Center Street Promenade, a continual host of Anaheim’s numerous art events and farmers markets, was sectioned off once again for this year’s final installment of the ArtCrawlExperience.
Bright lights were strung above the busy street, the hustle of people roamed in and out of welcoming restaurants and stores, live music met attendees, artists and sellers alike; hunger-inducing aromas from the kitchens of food trucks wafted through the length of the street – the entire picture of Downtown Anaheim, decorated just for the ArtCrawl, embodied the inclusive spirit of the local art community. The enticing smells of freshly-cooked food and the euphoric energy from the live musicians attracted many members of the public for the featured artists.
Canopies of local artists, photographers, creators and the like stretched down the street. Creativity exuded from all types of artists from conventional mediums of art displayed for sale – such as paintings, drawings, ceramics, wood carvings, jewelry, crochets, even dolls – to more unusual pieces of art, like decorated light switch covers, hand-painted characters on glass cups, vinyl record ornaments, hats, succulent creations and caricatures.
Rare by Goodwill was featured as an artist, with their booth exhibiting mannequins in wintery Christmas sweaters created from various seasonal items – bells, tinsel, bows.
The ArtCrawlExperience also participated in an innovative collaboration with Anaheim’s museum and cultural center Muzeo;; the neighboring museum opened its doors at half-price admission for ArtCrawl participants, with a special showcase of their uniquely extensive “King Tut: Wonderful Things from the Pharoah’s Tomb” exhibition.
The ArtCrawlExperience generated not only thrift shoppers and history buffs, but also contemporary art appreciators. Some more up-to-date pieces were showcased, such as a hilariously exaggerated Trump caricature or an accurately painted Stormtrooper glass cup. With a focus in visual forms, art was also present through the creation of music and food.
Live music played from two stages: The Claude Band on the mainstage, attracting dancers who laughingly spun, dipped and samba-ed beneath the stage to the melodies heard through the streets. On the other end of Center Street Promenade, a more intimate stage surrounded by festively illuminated trees hosted performers singing to acoustic guitar or keyboard accompanied solos.
The ArtCrawlExperience also promised a special night for OC foodies, too. Gourmet food trucks were never without a line, whether it be to the Tri-Tip Man or Kettle Corn King; the smell of the creatively-crafted meals and snacks found its way to all goers of the ArtCrawl.
Each addition to the ArtCrawlExperience was unique, portraying the crafter’s brand. From a jewelry stand to a photography booth, there was a number of artists, all participating not only to market themselves to the public, but also to develop an unspoken sense of fellowship among the artistic community in Anaheim. With all categories of artists mixed in together, Downtown Anaheim celebrated the gathering of all artists at their last ArtCrawl Experience of the year.