The April showers have brought May flowers and signs of summer to Pittston — including the start of the Second Friday Art Walks in their original outdoor form. The art walks had a new first this season, when they opened with an indoor event Friday, April 12, in the Luzerne County Community College building on Main Street.
Come Friday, May 10, artists will once again line Main Street with their works in watercolor, pastels, photography, jewelry, glass and more.
“There’s almost every medium you can think of,” said organizer Mary Kroptavich.
Kroptavich said 28 artists alone have committed to the art walks, held each second Friday from May until October throughout much of downtown, and artists will not be the only thing to see.
“We’ll be unveiling another piece of (public) art,” Kroptavich said of the first walk. “We’re also having Susquehanna Brewing Company be a part of it and two wineries.”
The walk will stretch along Main Street all the way down to the Luzerne County Community College Campus, where artists from the school’s Nanticoke campus will display their work.
The new downtown gallery, Art E Fekts, also will be open for the art walk. Kroptavich, its director, said the gallery will feature a string quartet for the evening.
In addition to art and open businesses downtown, the art walks will feature free activities for children such as balloon art and rock garden painting.
The children’s section on May 10 also will feature readings by local children’s author Chetty D.
In years past, the art walk has taken August off in order to allow time for the annual Pittston Tomato Festival, but this year the art walk will become a part of the Tomato Festival, with local artists displaying and selling their work throughout the festival, mostly near the new amphitheater, above the festival lots.
While planning this year’s walks, Kroptavich said the amount of interested artists left her “speechless” at times.
“It’s grown drastically,” she said. “People are reaching out to us … word is getting out there that Pittston is becoming an art city and people want to be a part of that.”
Kroptavich said she is refusing to look at the weather forecast since it changes so frequently, but barring an absolute downpour, the art walk will kick off at 5 p.m. Friday, May 10, and will run until 9 p.m. that night.
Future art walks are slated for the second Friday of each month until October for a total of six art walk events.
With less than a week to go until the art walk season officially starts, Kroptavich said she and her volunteers are “right on track.”
“It’s a lot of work but it’s worth it in the end,” she said.