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Springville fall art crawl to showcase local art, business

The village of Springville is going to be crawling with art on Oct. 6 as the second annual Downtown Springville Fall Art Crawl turns the business district into an open-air art gallery.

“The whole idea is to highlight what we’ve got here in Springville, in terms of business, in terms of art,” said Seth Wochensky, executive director of the Springville Center for the Arts, which is sponsoring the event, along with VanOver Fine Arts and the Springville Downtown Economic Development Group.

“It started as a way to bring people downtown and get them into the businesses,” added Rich VanOver of VanOver Fine Arts. “It’s really a way to turn the businesses into galleries so people can see art and also go into a business they might not have explored otherwise. [It will also] spread the word that [Springville] is really becoming an arts town,” explained the gallery owner.

This year’s event will take place on Main Street and some surrounding streets from 6 p.m. – 9 p.m. A map station will be set up at the corner of Main and Mechanic streets, where visitors may pick up a map and a list of participating locations and artists. Some featured businesses will be hosting receptions as part of the crawl, whereas others will have later open hours or specials, to coincide with the event.

“It’s a nice way to get people to come down to Springville, to have a nice evening in a small town,” Wochensky said, adding that, in the past, “about 50 percent” of visitors have come from outside the area to experience the art crawl.

“It was amazing last year, to look down [Main Street] and see it just completely packed,” said VanOver, who noted that some visitors come from Ellicottville, Buffalo and other surrounding areas.

Most of the participating artists are regional, although Wochensky said that he and VanOver are always trying to keep an eye out for new artists to participate.

Visitors will be issued glow-in-the-dark bracelets to designate them as part of the art crawl, and are free to wander around the business district to view artwork, listen to a variety of musical acts and explore local vendors.

Among the artists participating in the art crawl are Massachusetts photographer John Thomas Grant, who will exhibit his work at VanOver Fine Arts; Meagan McCrory, a batik artist, who will present “A Passion for Color” at the Center for the Arts and Max Collins, who will be implementing a mural at the future site of the Art’s Cafe.

“He’s going to include what’s there and add onto it,” Wochensky said, who noted that Collins will be assisted by volunteers from the Springville-Griffith Institute National Honor Society. Those students also participated in the Springville Youth Incorporated Mural Workshop, conducted last summer.

Visitors are asked to bring an object that reflects either the history of the building or hopes for its renovation, according to Wochensky.

“We want to encourage people to bring a piece of what they want to see done with the building or a piece of themselves: a memento, picture, notes, drawings, anything that will fit on a half-sheet of paper,” he explained. “It will give it a neat community aspect, since this is really going to be the community’s cafe.”

As the evening draws to a close, the SCA will host a closing ceremony and after-party at its facility from 9 – 10 p.m.

“The crawl is a great partnership for us and a great way to highlight downtown businesses, boost our community and collaborate. It’s a win-win, for everybody,” Wochensky said.

The fall art crawl will take place on Oct. 6 from 6 – 9 p.m. in Springville.

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