Merchants and Artists Walk brings crowd downtown

Naomai Potts, 11, of Parkersburg, a singer who has performed in two shows at the Smoot Theatre, sings “Second Hand Rose” across from the Parkersburg Art Center Friday during the Market Street Merchants and Artists Walk. (Photo by Madeline Murphy)

PARKERSBURG — Talent lined the street on Friday at the Market Street Merchants and Artists Walk in downtown Parkersburg.

There were solo singers and bands in shops, on stages and lining the sidewalk.

“Tonight I sang an original song,” said JP Chandler, a singer-songwriter from Belleville, in a Market Street business Friday evening.

Free drinks and food were offered in many places as well, for those admiring the art.

Artists who work with paints, pottery, metal, wood and just about any other material displayed and sold pieces at the Artsbridge event.

Cole Caltrider, 9, of Parkersburg, tries his hand at pottery outside the Parkersburg Art Center during the Market Street Merchants and Artists Walk Friday. (Photo by Madeline Murphy)

“A few of my pictures are designed using paper towels and egg cartons,” said Leah Delaney, of Parkersburg.

Many vendors offered business cards in case visitors wanted to see more of their work or do buisness with them later.

Some vendors offered hands-on activities for the children.

“We really want to spark kids’ interests and get them involved with the art center,” said Vance Hewitt, who does pottery.

“I had a lot of fun molding the clay,”said Cole Caltrider, 9, who was enjoying the art with his parents.

Judith Saunders explains how difficult it is to make a lidded basket to Jim Murray, of Athens, at the Parkersburg Art Center during the Market Street Merchants and Artists Walk Friday. (Photo by Madeline Murphy)

“It was slimy to touch,” he said.

The art center was open letting people learn about the art on display.

Judith Saunders, the artist who hand made all the baskets in the art center, came in from Virginia to educate people about her creative process.

“I have an initial concept when I begin, but it evolves and I make the major decisions as I go based on what I see,” said Saunders.

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