Monday, November 9, 2009

Second Saturday

This Saturday, November 14th is the Second Saturday Art Walk in Sacramento. Every month “The Artists Upstairs” (the unofficial name of those of us with studios upstairs from the Art Foundry Gallery) join galleries and other studios in welcoming visitors into their spaces.

Second Saturday has been around for quite a few years. It began when Michael Himovitz, along with his partner Chuck Miller noticed how other large cities had made an “event” out of gallery opening receptions. This observation sparked in them the desire to create a similar experience in Sacramento. In 1992 the first “Second Saturday” was launched and continues to be an important part of the Sacramento art community. To read more history, see this 2008 article at

The article touches on a little bit about the evolution of this event. The scene in midtown Sacramento on Second Saturday has developed into quite a party. I have mixed feelings about this. I love the energy of midtown and the chance for more people to be exposed to art, but I am not sure how many are there for that reason.

My studio is located in downtown Sacramento as opposed to midtown. While we enjoy a nice turnout every month, the numbers in no way compare to what they are seeing elsewhere. This is ok with me - the ones that do visit are usually there to experience art and talk with the artists.

Our local PBS station recently aired a documentary on Second Saturday that includes footage and information about the various activities available each month. Two of the “Artists Upstairs” were also featured – Taylor Gutemute and Merle Axelrad Serlin. If you missed it last week, you can still watch it on the KVIE website.

For those of us that participate in Second Saturday each month, the benefits are many. Every month is an opportunity for people to see my work, ask questions and maybe sign up to be on my mailing list. I have also had quite a few people register for one of my workshops because they found out about them on Second Saturday. Knowing that I am showing every month motivates me to make new work. We get many of the same people visiting each month - if I don’t have new pieces to show every once in awhile, they may stop coming. This month for example, I will be showing a few of my new black & white images from Paris.

Getting ready for Second Saturday includes making sure I have enough cards and other promotional material out as well as the "treats" I sometimes buy for people to eat when they visit. One priceless benefit of Second Saturday is that I am forced to clean up once a month, insuring that my studio doesn’t get completely out of control with tools and materials covering every inch of my workspace.

If you live in the Sacramento area and have never experienced Second Saturday, I encourage you to give it a try. Go to midtown and enjoy the energy and excitement that is generated there, or visit other areas for a more relaxing art experience. Of course, if you are anywhere in the vicinity of 10th & R be sure to stop by and say hello. I sometimes have candy………………

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