Volunteers prepare for Art At Night on Saturday

Amanda Jess
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NEW GLASGOW – Before downtown New Glasgow is transformed into a hub of creative activity for a night, volunteers spend almost a year planning the event.

A year’s work is about to be unveiled as Andy Cunningham and volunteers get ready for the third Art At Night this weekend. Posters for the event, designed by Kyle DeCoste went up earlier this week. AMANDA JESS – THE NEWS

They’re now in overdrive, putting the final touches on Art At Night as more than 100 artists prepare to take over 10 venues throughout the town, a huge jump from 2012, its inaugural year, with 40 artists at three venues.

“Every year, there’s a new group of people I’ve never met before,” event coordinator, Andy Cunningham, says. “It shows how vast and expansive the artist community is here.”

This Saturday, musicians, painters, creative writers, sculptors, photographers and many others will display their work at both indoor locations and in the streets.

The town will be closing a portion of Provost Street from Dalhousie to Forbes streets from 6 p.m. until 12:30 a.m. for displays.

Other venues include Glasgow Square, BaKED Food Café, EVENTIDE Art Hub, Celtic Circle and the New Glasgow Library, to name a few.

Local musician Layne Greene will be one of the artists taking part. He’s performed for the event in the past, joining a songwriters’ circle at Celtic Circle. This year, he’ll be busking, which offers a different experience for both him and the listener, he says.

 “You connect with people better,” he says, adding that it allows people the chance to choose to either walk by or stop if they like what they hear.

Art At Night offers the community a chance to see the artistic talent the area has to offer all in one place, Greene says about why he enjoys it.

“It’s good to be a part of something bigger in the community.”

When it began, Cunningham had no idea where it would go. Cunningham and others were asked to put together an event for National Youth Arts Week.

 “We didn’t know what to expect. We planned it in a month.”

It gained momentum almost immediately and is now in its third year.

It’s not the first of its kind with events like Nocturne Halifax now in its fifth year, but it was new ground for Pictou County.

“We had no idea what we were getting ourselves into. It was bigger than any event I had done before,” Cunningham says.

Although there’s something special about watching residents and tourists fill the town, the artists get the real opportunity.

Cunningham notes that many of them haven’t had the chance to show their work before and it offers them a way to get reviews and feedback from other artists.

“It’s great to create the opportunity to have these artists meet, show their work and network.”

Even if many of the same artists attend each year, many more sign up as it continues, offering a different experience each time.

Due to the nature of the event where the artists approach the organizers, it’s a variety that can’t be controlled.

Art At Night takes over New Glasgow May 3 from 8 p.m. until 12 a.m.

 

Amanda.jess@ngnews.ca

On Twitter: @NGNewsAmanda 

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