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Art while you shop or till you drop
For three weeks, Art on Parade, an art event, is happening in Norwood. The program has selected artists from all over Adelaide to participate and show their latest works. These include drawing, painting, sculpture, crafted items and photography.
Hand crafted aliens amongst the shoes in the Wards Shoes window. Image by Kat May.
Art Trail brochures are available at the Town Hall or you can download your own list of locations (PDF doc) on the website here. The venues are written in alphabetical order, not in order of the street location. The first two venues are on the list are numbers 212, then 46, at the far end of the street, which is a very long way. As I am not from the area I found it somewhat difficult to find the locations of the art. A practical trail list would be marked so that you go to the first one, say at one end of the Parade and then you can easily walk on to the next one on, by following the list in the order you come to them.
However, I was soon to discover very few of the shops along the Parade have numbers above their door, so could I not find the venues anyway. With some help and directions from shopkeepers, I did manage to locate some of the artworks. Of the ones I found, there seemed to be a theme of aliens and creatures which were very charming. I liked the mix of mediums and the surprise of what you find in the next shop window.
For me, the outing was somewhat frustrating and after walking past numerous businesses with no shop number, I gave up and left. My 2-hour car park was almost up. A visitor should not have to stand in the street and Google where a business is or continually ask shops what their street number is. Funny thing is, many didn't even know their own street number.
Okay, we can find The Parade, but where are the venues? Image by Kat May.
Of the art that I did see, which was only a small amount, was lovely. Most of the venues have the artworks in the shop windows, so you do not have such a good view through glass. Some are only small spaces and maybe only one piece, so these windows could be viewed at night. The other participating venues are galleries in the area. Visiting these would give the viewer more art in the one venue, however, some you would have to drive to. Galleries are near The Parade, some on Norwood side streets and others in areas such as Stepney and Kent Town.
A small selection of art on the back wall at Argo Cafe. Image by Kat May.
There are two ways for the visitor to approach this event. Sit either at home or in a cafe on The Parade and work out your route of businesses and galleries to visit. There are many galleries close to The Parade, so these may offer the walker more art for less time spent walking about.
Catch the bus and start at one end and walk up The Parade. Parking is often hectic at Norwood, so on the bus, you would not have to be moving your car.
The other way is if you do go to Norwood to shop, try potluck. Take notice of the windows as you walk past and maybe by chance, you may find some lovely artwork to make you smile on the day. If you are interested in purchasing any of the artworks contact the artist directly. Again, no information is given as how to do that, so more research for you.
All in all, Art On Parade shows merit as a community event, Drawing shoppers to the area during school holidays is a great idea too. However, improvements to the listings and a user-friendly map is warranted. I visit and review most of Adelaide's art events, but I found the whole outing too stressful. Looking at art should be made with a sense of flow, not getting lost and confused.