Thursday, Oct. 25 2012 4:53PM
Fourth Friday events create buzz
Downtown hopes to grow during holiday season
By Russ Pulley
It’s again Fourth Friday in downtown Lee’s Summit and there will be art to enjoy, even if the weather is predicted to be chilly.
The Cultural Arts Committee of Lee’s Summit Downtown Main Street Inc. has made an open call for artists to come sketch, paint or do other demonstrations and performances on the streets.
“Some artists are really tough, they paint outdoors in all weather situations” said Tina Garrett, committee co-chair. “I’d suspect there will still be some artists out there.”
It’s a certainty there will be art to enjoy indoors Oct. 26.
A Lee’s Summit resident and award-winning artist, Ron Hoyle, will take time from a busy schedule for a reception and exhibit at Mingle.
Hoyle will talk to visitors 6 to 9 p.m. at Mingle, 209 S.E. Main St. There’s also a free wine tasting at 7 p.m. Hoyle works in graphite, making drawings of ironworkers building steel structures in a photorealistic style. As a struggling artist, he became an ironworker to support himself and family, while still practicing his art. His careers melded into a successful style, he often depicts the blue-collar men on the job on tall structures.
“It has an incredible way of giving the viewer vertigo,” Garrett said. “It is very generous of him to support Main Street.”
Got Art Gallery is holding its fourth annual Photography Show and also Seeing Beyond the Disease: Honoring through Art those with Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia. A reception 6 to 9 p.m. will include Shey Estes, a Kansas City jazz performer at the gallery at 18 SW Third Street.
The hope is that Fourth Friday will gain momentum because many downtown shops will stay open into the evening during the holiday season, said Trisha Drape, Main Street’s executive director. Shops open at 10 a.m. and several will be open until 8 p.m. on Fourth Fridays.
Main Street’s Cultural Arts Committee is committed to adding the the flavor of every city event, Drape said.
At the Mayor’s Tree Lighting Ceremony, Nov 16, there will be a performance of the Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy, from the Nutcracker.
It’ll provide entertainment and a chance for children and adults to experience ballet, if they’ve never seen it before, Drape said.
The Fourth Friday events started in July and have steadily built “buzz and excitement,” Drape said.
In the works is another production of Cellular Cenes with a new script. That August performance of a walking play at downtown locations was a success, Drape said.
Also this holiday season Main Street expects to present an outdoor sculpture called The Giving Tree, by Dave Eames.
The sculpture will be temporarily installed downtown and businesses will have ribbons available on which visitors will write their thanks or wishes. They can tie them to the sculpture where their hopes will flutter in the breeze. In Eastern traditions thoughts and prayers on those ribbons waving in the wind create good fortune for others.
Main Street’s tentative plan is to bring the tree back the next holiday season and invite other artists to contribute a tree sculpture of their own for the event, perhaps growing into a new tradition.
“It’s trying to engage people as it relates to gifts we already have and gratitude,” Garrett said.