MONROE – Joyce Rentschler is proud to call the city home.
Not only does she work at the same hospital in which she was born (CMC-Union), but she’s also lived downtown for more than 20 years. She believes the area is heading in the right direction in terms of becoming a walkable vibrant community, citing the growing number of lofts, redevelopment of the Center Theatre, development of a science center and arrival of more places to eat.
Rentschler has also contributed to the more inviting vibe by organizing the Downtown Monroe Art Walk for 11 years.
“It was just kind of a thing my daughter and I thought would be cool to do downtown,” Rentschler said. “We have a few friends that are artists, and we were chatting with them and decided we would basically do a gallery crawl.”
The art walk gives folks extra incentives to visit downtown. They can chat with artists, listen to live music and explore restaurants and shops they have not yet visited.
The Downtown Monroe Art Walk takes place 5:30 to 9 p.m. Oct. 12 and 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Oct. 13. The event will feature music performances by Wade Geddings, Emanuel Wynter and the Union Symphony Youth Orchestra.
Visit the event’s Facebook page @DowntownMornoeArtWalk for updates.
Maps of the two dozen participating businesses will be available along Main Street. Participating businesses include 47K Marketplace, Live Laugh Paint, M Bellish, Studio Boutique and The Faded Rose.
Artwork extends beyond paintings. Crawlers may find pottery, jewelry, metalwork, hair and even chainsaw art inside each location. Rentschler has also converted four vacant spaces into galleries just for the event.
She organizes the event twice a year, opting for nicer weather in April and October. How about more?
“Coordinating 25 business, 50 artists and several musical acts twice a year kind of does it for me,” she said. “If I didn’t have a job and a life, I would love to do it more, honestly.”