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Artwalk attracts students to Downtown Bangor

The final Downtown Bangor Arts Collaborative (DBAC) Artwalk of the year was held Friday, Nov. 13. The walk involved 23 downtown locations, live music and the creation of a community mural.

“The main thing that happens during the Artwalk that doesn’t happen during other times is that the art studios are open,” Aaron Pyle, the museum technician at the University of Maine Museum of Art, said.

Pyle explained that although the Bangor art community is open to explore year -round, the actual art studios are only open to the public during the four Artwalks that are held each year.

Despite the unique opportunity to look inside the studios, Pyle said that many UMaine students don’t come downtown for the event.

“A lot of university students don’t get downtown because they’re intimidated by traffic or driving down here,” Pyle said. “But, events that put all of the artists in one night are good for students.”

Lorin Martens, a third-year studio art student at UMaine, attended the event with a group of friends who share an interest in art. She was expecting to see more students. Martens noted that she would like to see an increase in student involvement in the next Artwalk.

“I’ve been a part of the Portland Art Walk before,” Martens said. “If the opportunity was to arise, I would love to be a part of the Bangor Artwalk.”

Members of the Bangor art community seem to agree that getting UMaine students involved would be beneficial.

“I think the Artwalks could only benefit from having more UMaine students,” Annette Dodd, co-owner of the Rock and Art Shop, said. “The walk is still growing. Bangor is still growing. We need young people to help it survive.”

The Rock and Art Shop was one of the stops in the Artwalk, and exhibited the work of a variety of artists.

One of the featured artists, Hillary Gocze, who is also an employee at the shop, said that college students should be involved in the art community.

“I think it’s important for them to be in the art scene,” Gocze said. “To get ideas and guidance.”

Gocze was joined by her friend, Allison Potash, a fourth-year UMaine student who attended to support Gocze and take a look at the art the community has to offer. Although Potash is not an art student, she enjoys attending the Artwalks.

“There was free pizza at the last Artwalk, so I decided another one was a good idea,” Potash joked. “I like how many little kids I see out at these things. It’s great.”

To learn more about the Downtown Bangor Arts Collaborative, or to sign up to participate or volunteer in the next Artwalk, visitthe DBAC website.

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