Merced Art Hop returns Saturday

Sun-Star staffJanuary 17, 2014 

The Merced Art Hop returns to downtown this Saturday, with a full lineup of arts and entertainment for the entire family to enjoy.

The event runs to 5 to 9 p.m. in the area of West Main and 18th streets, between I and N streets. The event is free to the public.

Saturday Art Hop will be the 22nd occasion of the event, which started six years ago and happens quarterly. It features the works of hundreds of artists, along with music, food and more. Many local business owners participate in the Art Hop, opening their doors to showcase the works of the many artists in attendance.

Kevin Hammon, who co-founded the Art Hop with Kimberly Zamora, said it costs about $3,500 to put on each Art Hop. Hammon said support from the community is key to putting on the event. He said calendars, produced with the help of JR Imagery, Bright Dart and local artists, will be on sale Saturday to help provide support to the event.

“It’s been a super journey and a lot of challenges and battles, but we’re persevering,” Hammon said of the Art Hop.

Some of the highlights of Saturday’s Art Hop include:

• Several DJs, including DJ Soul Fingers, DJ Germz, DJ Marco, Steps Team Starz and DJ Rasta.

• Bands at Gottchalks Music, such as “Skylights,” “Outcomes” and “Second at Best.”

• A video installation by JR Imagery and Kevin Hammon in the 600 block of West Main Street. The installation will be projected on the side of a building.

• A photo booth and works of arts sponsored by Arts UC Merced in Arbor Walk South, which is located in a hallway, in the 500 block of West Main Street.

• Models displaying clothes by fashion designer Ami Bianchini.

• A lecture on color blindness by Chris Viney at the Merced Multi-Cultural Art Center.

• Bands at Main Street Tattoo.

• Art by the event’s featured “artist of the quarter,” April Wright.

The Art Hop is one of the city's busiest nights downtown, with an average of about 2,500 people showing up to experience it.

The Art Hop is held four times a year, in January, April, July and October, in downtown Merced on the third Saturday of the month.

For more information about the Art Hop, call Kevin Hammon at (209) 658-2587 or visit www.mercedarthop.org.

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