Enjoy the warm summer evenings as you stroll through Willits town center and admire works of art in eight different locations, including six galleries, during the Willits Summer Art Walks, which take place on the last Saturday of every month until October, from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.
For being a small town, Willits has an impressive number of talented artists. Willits Center for the Arts (WCA) curator Gary Martin recommends using the center as a starting point for the walking tour. They will have meet-the-artists opportunities, where customers can chat with the artists whose work is on display.
WCA displays new artwork monthly with a Willits artist in one gallery and an artist from elsewhere in the county in the other gallery. From there, one could travel in any direction to see more art.
To the east, Kemmy’s Pies in the Skunk Train Depot offers beer, wine, and sweet and savory pies for customers to enjoy while admiring the crafts and arts that adorn the walls of this local treasure.
At the Mendocino County Museum, not only will the current exhibit, “Bear in Mind: the Story of the California Grizzly,” be on display, but there will be a pop-up exhibit from Mendocino College showcasing the work of local students, taught by l local artist Ann Maglinte.
Returning west, Art on the Plaza will feature the intricate metal work of Rex Morgan as well as a variety of works by 14 local artists. Across Main Street, RE-Evolution features an ever-changing array of artwork.
Heading north from there, Shanachie Pub has beers and artwork by local artist Jazmine Moore on display, as well as live music during Singer Songwriter Night. Scoops will host the Willits Library Art night in its courtyard. The library will offer handicrafts and Scoops will offer sweet treats.
Across the street, BACE will have a psychedelic visual art experience and music later in the evening. They also feature artwork from Tribe 13, a mobile gallery based in Ukiah.
Years ago, the Willits Summer Arts Walk took place. However, like so many things, it was canceled due to the pandemic and just resumed this year, with the first taking place on June 25. Martin said: “It was a good start, the families did it, which was very nice.” He explained the motivation for bringing the event back. Martin said, “Willits has all this wonderful art, and no one really knows it.”
BACE co-owner David Blesse said of the first art walk, “It was fun, people liked it. It’s definitely very different from anything in town.
WCA is located at 71 E. Commercial St. (next to the movie theater); Kemmy’s Pies is located at 299 E. Commercial St.; The Mendocino County Museum is located at 400 E. Commercial St.; Art on the Plaza is located at 99 S. Main St.; RE-Evolution is located at 15 W. Mendocino Ave.; The Shanachie Pub is located at 50 S. Main St.; Scoops is located at 110 N. Main St. and BACE is located at 101 N. Main St.
The next Willits Art Walks will take place on July 30, August 27, September 24 and October 29. For more information and a map of locations participating in the Art Walk, visit https://www.willitscenterforthearts.org