1st Friday Art Walk is back! After a few months’ hiatus, this celebrated tradition has returned to downtown Ocala after much anticipation. It was great to get out and stroll around without the imminent threat of rain. The afternoon was a bit balmy, even though we are inching our way into Fall. After parking, I headed south on SE 1st Ave towards SW Fort King St and Jezebel’s (corner of SW Fort King St and SE 1st Ave). A special thanks goes out to the wonderful crossing guard on duty at the intersection of E Silver Springs Blvd and SE 1st Ave; she was having as good a time as everyone else out there! At Jezebel’s I said hello to Mekaella and Teresa Dunnam (the owner), and then stopped to tip my hat to Heather who was in a bathtub drinking champagne.
Upon exiting Jezebel’s, outside I stopped to visit with the lovely Lisa Fitzpatrick, an artist who paints portraits, murals, Faux furniture and window advertising. Her work is extremely colorful and well done. I walked across the street to The Lunchbox , got a root beer/coke mix, and chatted with Tiffany for a bit.
Moving a couple of doors down, in front of Artist Alley, I spoke with Zach Denniston who was manning the Appleton Museum of Art table display. The Appleton has some fine events coming up: check their schedule at Appleton Museum of Art and visit them soon. We also chatted with a lovely woman named Arlene Bowman who was quite adorable.
Other stops I made included ducking into Brick City Center for the Arts at 23 SW Broadway St, where a soiree was in full swing. I was going to stop into Stella’s Modern Pantry, but they were packed!
Walking back to my car I stopped in front of AJ’s On The Square and spent a few minutes with Jessica Lane, a young artist from the area.
Two hours had passed and I had enjoyed myself immensely. It was good to see the Downtown Square and surrounding area come alive with people again. Hopefully, this trend will continue with folks getting out and about downtown, and frequenting the events here. Check back here, as well as the local newspaper for upcoming events. You can also check Discover Downtown Ocala, and Ocala Square’d for more info. Hope to see you here soon.