Downtown’s Art Walk

By Jessica Nguyen

“Art is too important not to share.” 
– Romero Britto, famous Brazilian artist, painter, serigrapher and sculptor 

Everyone has a little bit of an artist in them. You might disagree, and think to yourself, “I don’t paint,” or “HA. I can only draw stick figures.” What we often forget is that art is a form of expression– and you can express yourself any way you want to. You may not be the next Picasso, Shakespeare or Beethoven, and sure, your piece of artwork probably won’t become as famous as the Mona Lisa, but this doesn’t change the fact that you expressed yourself – your thoughts, feelings, and/or emotions you may not have necessarily been able to put into words.  

What is Art Splash?

Appreciation for art expression is not lost on Joy Neas, Coordinator of Downtown Stockton’s ArtSplash, a FREE, self-guided tour of various downtown venues that display local art of all shapes, sizes, color, and variety. Being a photographer, crocheter, and sidewalk chalk art enthusiast herself, Joy encourages artists of all skill levels to display their work in ArtSplash events, stating, “we have everybody, we accept everybody. We give an immersive experience.” She continues, “It’s one thing to make art, but to feel like you’re a real artist, you need to show your art.” And show art they do- past ArtSplash artists have showcased everything from photography, music, weaving, sculpting, drawing, painting, ceramics, animation, and more!

From toddlers to senior citizens and all stages in between, ArtSplash has proudly displayed art from artists of all ages. It reminds us that art has no age limit- all that’s needed is the passion to create (some paintbrushes or musical instruments would probably help, too). Some unique art displays featured in past ArtSplash events included a local filmmaker who showcased her original short films and a Renaissance Group who wove and made ceramics while adorned in their renaissance-styled attire. Some displays are even interactive, allowing visitors to join in on the painting or model for an art piece (if you’ve always wanted to model and never had the chance, this is your opportunity!).  

Why Downtown?

Why is Downtown Stockton the perfect location for ArtSplash? Joy shares that there are many reasons, including the simple fact that she loves the downtown area. “Downtown to me is the heart of the city. Downtown has so much character with the historical buildings, beautiful waterfront, and all the different cultures that make up Stockton.” Another reason Downtown Stockton is the ideal location for ArtSplash is that it helps people to “get to know these buildings.” Having art displayed in various downtown venues means that visitors get to view the inside of buildings they otherwise would have never had the chance to see. For instance, RTD was an ArtSplash venue, and visitors were able to experience the inside of its beautiful conference room.  

Currently in its 8th year, ArtSplash takes place on the second Fridays of months May through October from 5 – 8 PM at various downtown locations (check our events calendar for more information). There are only a couple ArtSplash events left this season, so what are you waiting for? Get in touch with your creative side and grab some paint, a guitar, a camera, Renaissance gear, flowers- anything! And while you are creating, remember Joy’s words, “Anything can be art.” Check it out TONIGHT!

Joy is always in search of new artists and venues! If you would like to participate in an upcoming ArtSplash event(s) or if you are interested in offering a downtown venue, please contact her at [email protected] she’d love to hear from you!