While many local festivals and annual events have been canceled or postponed because of the novel coronavirus pandemic, one event is going a different route – the Durango Spring Gallery Walk is taking its show online from Friday through the end of May.
Called a “Virtual Art Experience,” instead of downtown’s galleries flinging open their doors and welcoming crowds of people inside, this time, participating galleries will offer pieces to purchase online on the Art Galleries of Durango’s website: durangoartgalleries.com. If a particular gallery doesn’t offer online shopping, purchases may also be made over the phone and by email, said Denise Leslie, director of the gallery collective.
Participating galleries include: Azul Gallery; Create Art and Tea; Diane West Jewelry & Art; Durango Arts Center; Earthen Vessel Gallery; Karyn Gabaldon Fine Arts; Sorrel Sky Gallery, Studio &, Toh-Atin Gallery and Wildshots.
Leslie said along with the sales, there will also be a lot of social media postings, videos from some of the galleries, interviews with artists – different little things to look forward to. Every week, there will be a newsletter with new offerings or something new to watch for.
In conjunction with the Gallery Walk, there will be an online auction called “For the Love of Art,” which will go live online Monday. Leslie said each participating gallery will have five items up for bid, which will include a “buy now” option for those not into auctions. Sponsored by Alpine Bank, 100% of sales go to the galleries, with Alpine picking up the merchant fee.
The auction will also run through the end of the month, and items up for auction may be accessed through durangoartgalleries.com.
And while the collective of galleries has had to pivot in the face of the novel coronavirus pandemic, it’s the arts – especially our local arts – that are helping us through this tough time, Leslie said.
“I think that arts and culture are part of why some people retire here, why people travel here,” she said. “I think it’s important that we keep that art alive. But more importantly, to me, I truly believe that the arts are what’s going to bring people back from this thing. Art heals, art saves lives and art keeps our communities together.”