‘Street Art Saturday’ comes to town

By Ciara Conley - [email protected]

Main Street Portsmouth (MSP) has partnered with Charlie Haskins to present a new reoccurring summer arts event, which will run May through August, called Street Art Saturday.

Join your community in downtown Portsmouth the first Saturday of each month, as a schedule of artists, musicians, and writers present their work up and down Second Street.

MSP Executive Director Joseph Pratt says Street Art Saturday is different from other area art events, because it is exclusively local and is designed to promote business in downtown.

Pratt formerly served as the arts writer for the Daily Times and has been involved in the arts community for many years.

“Charlie and I spent a lot of time running through different variations of what we could host and we finally came up with our Street Art Saturday event,” Pratt explained. “We knew we wanted to provide an event for visual and the performing arts, but we didn’t want it limited to one singular location, to provide after-hour strains on businesses, or require too much of a commitment for the local artists. We also wanted it to be very informal.”

Street Art Saturday will run the first Saturday of each month, between noon and 2 p.m. The artists will be playing or showcasing work at various staged locations on Second Street.

“We hoped to have it early enough in the month to allow for more commerce within the shops. It will also be held during short hours, within the typical lunch period, so people can stop long enough for food and a stroll down Second Street to take in the art, music, and various sales throughout the summer. We feel it is a great way to get your dose of Portsmouth culture, as well as a start to a good weekend,” said Pratt.

Charlie Haskins is partnering with the organization to assist in organizing local artists. Haskins is a downtown business owner, artist, and professor. Haskins also hosts many artistic outreaches in his shop, Haskins House, at 536 Second Street.

“We’re trying to focus on local talent and tying that in with our local businesses. It’ll be similar to an art crawl, people will be able to go to all sorts of different locations on 2nd street. We’re still finalizing the details and adding to the list. It’s going to be a really great event,” said Haskins.

He and Pratt are working to finalize the commitments for the kickoff event. The two have had plenty of positive feedback from businesses and artists to fill in the performance and showcase locations.

“We have so much talent to celebrate in our area. It’s really exciting that Joseph and Charlie have made the fruits of such inspiring local artists so accessible to the community,” said local art enthusiast Kasie Leightenheimer.

You can find the showcases in front of Rivertown Antiques, Haskins House and Packrats, and at the gazebo at the Riverview Retirement Center, where Linda Whisman is hosting a community jam session, which is open to public performers and listeners.

Street Art Saturday will run May through August, the first Saturday of each month, between the hours of noon and 2 p.m.

Interested artists may message Haskins House or Main Street Portsmouth on their Facebook pages. Main Street may also be reached at 740-464-0203 or [email protected]

By Ciara Conley

[email protected]

Reach Ciara Conley at 740-353-3101 ext 1932 or via Twitter @PDT_Ciara

Reach Ciara Conley at 740-353-3101 ext 1932 or via Twitter @PDT_Ciara

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