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Gallery crawl galloping into downtown Friday

SALISBURY — Downtown merchants will host the inaugural Gallery Gallop as part of 1st Friday, the series of promotions on the first Friday of every month designed to get shoppers inside stores.
Gallery Gallop will be held from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday and cosponsored by
Downtown Salisbury Inc. and the Downtown Salisbury Merchants Association. More than 45 artists and galleries have signed up to participate in the event, part of DSI’s month-long celebration of the arts.
First Friday-goers can hop on and off the trolley traveling throughout downtown at various galleries, as well as to Center for Faith & the Arts for its current exhibit, “Outside the Lines & Labels.” The exhibit features Outsider Art that offers a glimpse into the creative psyche and world of artists with mental or physical disabilities.
Downtown merchants will stay open late and offer specials. Each shopper will have the opportunity to win several pieces of artwork or a $50 framing gift certificate.
Parking will be available near the Rail Walk Studios & Gallery at the corner of North Lee and East Kerr streets. A special trolley stop will be located alongside the Rail Walk area. Additional parking will be available on the street, behind City Hall or at the Visitors Center.
Brittany Gaddis, a 14-year-old comic book artist and student at North Hills Christian School, will be the youngest participating artist. She will display her work at Collectivity The Comic Shoppe on West Fisher Street and accept commissions for paintings of superheroes.
Downtown Salisbury interim Executive Director Paula Bohland said she is thrilled that 1st Friday is celebrating the creative spirit.
“Art and creativity are integral to our overall quality of life,” Bohland said. “This event highlights the wonderful pool of talent, creativity and artists in our community.”
Toby Hagmaier, president of the Downtown Salisbury Merchant Association, said the Gallery Gallop will offer an opportunity to meet more than 40 talented artists entirely from the community.
“You will be able to watch them work and then buy that perfect art for your home from them or from the many local stores and galleries in downtown Salisbury,” she said.
The celebration of the arts will continue during Arts Night Out on June 20. The event will feature traditional Friday Night Out activities in the Kids Zone and on East Fisher Street, but it will also include arts and craft vendors set up on Easy Street, art activities for kids provided by Waterworks Visual Arts Center and a community art project at the Framing Gallery, 320 N. Main St., led by artist Connie Loflin Peninger.
Peninger will lead participants in painting 9-by-12-inch flat panel canvases that will be featured in the vacant store windows of the Empire Hotel during the month of July. Artists will get to keep their panels after that.
The Salisbury Art Station will also host children’s art classes with Miss Bee. Parents may drop off their children for the free hour-long art class and pick them up after they shop and dine. Each session will accommodate 20 students.

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