ELKHART — Warm temperatures and bright sunshine helped bring crowds to downtown Elkhart for the first ArtWalk of 2013.
“This is a great turnout,” said event organizer Steve Gruber. “I knew it would be because of the weather.”
Art lovers strolled along South Main Street, stopping to view art on display and enjoy specials from downtown restaurants.
Students from the That’s Dancing Studio demonstrated different dance styles for a small audience gathered outside the studio at 223 S. Main St.
Goshen artist John Mishler had several sculptures displayed around Elkhart and said this was his first ArtWalk event.
“It’s good to see art and culture featured like this in Elkhart,” Mishler said.
Mishler’s exhibit in the Elkart Chamber of Commerce building at 418 S. Main St. was just across the street from another one of his blue and red sculpture next to the Midwest Museum of American Art.
“This is a good way for me to connect with people,” Mishler said. “People have seen my work around but don’t really know me.”
At Civic Plaza, Bob Woods stood with a squirt gun filled with neon paint, enticing passersby to shoot paint at three models in white dresses.
“You’ve got a choice ladies,” he yelled to two women walking by. “Either you shoot them or I’ll shoot you!”
Children eagerly picked up the squirt bottles and let the paint fly while many adults were more cautious, apologizing as the paint struck the models.
“That was fun!” one woman said as she set down a squirt bottle. “We could do this in our back yard.”
Woods said the “Living Color” piece is an annual staple at ArtWalk and is one of the most popular attractions.
In addition to art from 21 local artists, the event included live music from nine performers stationed along the street.