Art runs rampant on Station St.

Art runs rampant next weekend during the Wine Capital Art Walk, on what is becoming Oliver’s funkiest little street. From a beatnik bistro at the Oliver Legion at the north end of Station Street, to a hip artisan market at Oliver Eats near the south end, Oliver’s arts community will be “busting out all over”.

The Wine Capital Art Walk big event is a street festival on the afternoon of Saturday May 11 from 1- 4 pm. However, the area around the Oliver Library gets a head start on the art, 10 am – 4 pm from Tuesday May 7 – Friday May 10. Visitors can view wine barrel artists at work all week long, and place their earlybird bids at the silent auction, just north of the library. Inside the library, an SOSS student art exhibit gets underway during the week.

The wine barrel silent auction features work by such artists as Marion Trimble, Painted Chair artists Rachel Allenbrand and Robert Lacasse, Lorraine Gibson, Tiffany Beckedorf, CreateAbility artists, Ava Grice, and Little Wonders Daycare. The decorated barrels have been a hot commodity each year. These one-of-a-kind barrels make attractive show pieces for gardens, patios, businesses, and homes. Bids start at $150 and are accepted in person at the art walk, and has already opened online. OliverCAC @ or @Oliverartscouncil on Facebook. Bidding ends at 3:45 p.m. on Saturday May 11. The wine barrel auction revs up with competitive bidding that afternoon. A capped bid of $800 can buy a barrel outright at any time. Winners will need to prepare to drive (or roll) away with their wine barrel on the Saturday.

Saturday’s festival features more than a dozen artists displaying their artwork in many media — photography, jewelry, wood carving, fibre arts, 3-D, acrylics and oils. Follow the chalk footprints into Maker Place, Oliver Library, Beyond Bliss, Oliver Laundromat, S.O Physiotherapy Centre, and Oliver Eats. A chainsaw sculpting demonstration takes place next to the Oliver Food Bank, which will open to receive food donations. Chat with some fascinating artisans, and do a little shopping. Pick up a “Passport to Art” at participating locations, have artists initial it, and enter the completed passport into the draw for a wine-and-theatre gift basket or a children’s art bag.

Children join in on the creativity at the Kids’ Art station beside Maker Place: cork crafts transform the humble bottle stopper into brooches, tie pins, key rings, and other make-and-take projects. Across the street at the library, high school students exhibit their latest SOSS art projects.

Live dance music by Diane Ball and Cindy Doucette will have patrons swaying to the beat in the parking lots at Beyond Bliss and Oliver Library. The Dance Studio in Oliver is preparing a colourful routine for audiences who prefer to leave dancing to the truly talented.

There will be no shortage of food and drink at the Wine Capital Art Walk. Wine tastings are served at Maker Place and S.O Physiotherapy; and the Firehall Brewery pours at Beyond Bliss. For big appetites, Oliver Eats will serve up lunch fare, and food trucks will park at both ends of Station Street. The Oliver Legion Hall (Main St entrance) opens its doors to all ages from 3 – 5 p.m. for appetizers and arts-inspired cocktails. Sip Van Gogh’s Vodka Sunset or the non-alcoholic Picasso’s Punch.

An information booth at the corner of Station and Fairview will issue Passports to Art, answer questions about art walk activities, and advertise upcoming arts events.
As the art walk winds down at 4 p.m. the Wine’d Up Party cranks up the energy. From 4 – 5 p.m. at the Oliver Legion Hall, participants enjoy light refreshments and cheer the winners of the barrels and passport draws.

The Wine Capital Art Walk is presented by the Oliver Community Arts Council, with the sponsorship of Kiwanis Club of Oliver, the Town of Oliver, Oliver Parks and Recreation and the Oliver-Osoyoos Winery Association, and the support of Station Street businesses.