By Danny Clive
In a community combined effort to bring together local artists, residents and businesses to display artworks at several locations across Old Town La Puente, a second of a quarterly Art Walk series was held.
Old Town La Puente held their second art walk, “Un Poquito Mas Arte,” on Saturday, May 26 from 1 p.m. to 10 p.m. along 1st and Main streets organized by the Nuvein Foundation for Literature and the Arts.
“All in all, the event, I think was very successful as I’ve been seeing more people engaged in local businesses, and their feedback has been very positive,” said Nuvein Foundation Executive Board President Christopher Trevilla. “More importantly I’ve seen a lot more people from the local community express their gratitude that this event is going on.”
In this second edition of the art walk, approximately seven art galleries were featured in various establishments including Arte Cabalturo Studio, Café Coco Na Dre, La Puente Senior Center, J&A Formal Wear, Trunk Trends Fashions, Francisco’s Halloween Shop and One Hour Taxes.
The event kicked off with a sidewalk chalk program for kids and families at the La Puente branch of the LA County Library, organized by the East Valley Boys and Girls Club and volunteers from La Puente High School.
The Twin Palms Recovery Center and other donors held a free community barbeque for art walk attendees and La Puente residents giving out hot dogs from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Twin Palms also featured vendors of various arts and crafts in their parking lot area.
Arturo Lopez of Arte Cabalturo Studio said that this art walk was bigger than the first as he featured 18 artists, three more from the first.
Lopez also featured two local bands at his studio.
Kevin “Keffpristine” Rizo, 19, a resident of Los Angeles, displayed his artwork in Lopez’s studio demonstrated to be an impressive and outstanding artist.
Rizo’s medium, inspired by street art is acrylic paintings on canvass and wood that have been featured on other galleries in San Diego and Long Beach.
Café Coco Na Dre remained busy throughout the entire walk and also featured some of the same artists from the first art walk edition.
“We have art all year round, when we first opened, the goal was to give the community and the younger kids and opportunity to display their artwork because some don’t have that option around them,” said owner of Café Coco Na Dre Lisa Armstrong. “A lot of them don’t have confidence in their art yet and they just want someone to see it.”
Armstrong said that overall this has been an overwhelming experience as not only did business doubled, but also did the number of people showing up to the event.
Trunk Trends Fashions’ held live entertainment outdoors in their parking structure featuring live music and dancers from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. as well as vendors from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m.
“I’m really into the community, and I feel like Old Town La Puente could really use the boost,” said owner of Trunk Trends Fashions Nanette Naval. “I think there’s so much potential that we can have here.”
Naval said her passion for community involvement is big and she wants to bring something new to the old town community.
She has been working in trying to get City Hall to grant her permission to have food trucks and independent musicians outside her parking structure because she wants it to be a community location more than just your average clothing boutique store.
La Puente City Council authorized the permits, sponsored the stage, labor and an electric generator in order for the outdoors live entertainment to happen.
“Events like this, with a niche like Arts is great to bring people to downtown and revitalize it,” said the City of La Puente Mayor Dan Holloway. “I’ve been involved on the periphery for both the art walks. I’ve been to their committee meetings to let them know I’m very supportive and other members of the city council are supportive.”
Holloway said that he walked around and visited all of the galleries with his wife. He stated that he would like to see the art walks grow and have student involvement along with the professional artists.
Owner of Vinyl Saurs records Gilbert Velasco held a Vinyl Spun Poetry and Open Mic featuring David Romero.
The ScrapBook Café held a Crop & Shop Scrapbooking Workshop from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.
“I think that it is kind of cool to be able to have the art walk because we get people we don’t normally see and so we’ve seen quite a bit of traffic,” said owner of ScrapBook Café Julie Huddleston.
Huddleston said she’s had her business in Old Town La Puente from nine year, seven in the recent location.
Overall, Trevilla said the event had over 200 participants throughout the day.
The next art walk is scheduled for August 18, the third Saturday of the month.