A while back I wrote a beginner’s guide to ArtHop and I focused on venues to view local art and meet artists. However, I’ve realized lately there’s more to ArtHop than the art.
ArtHop has become (or has been for awhile) an interactive, all-encompassing experience. It’s not just wine and works of art anymore (which in itself is worth going out on the town for). There’s music, dancing, workshops, and gatherings all happening, and more and more ways for you to feed your artistic energy whether you consider yourself an art fan or not.
Tonight is a great night to experience what the Downtown/Tower District ArtHop has to offer in the way of these interactive experiences. Below, I’ve listed some of the cool, not-art things going on in and around ArtHop venues. If you want to also see some art while you’re out, check out arts critic Donald Munro’s “5 picks for July ArtHop.”
Cupcake and Succulent Workshops at Tree of Life
*Note: Due to a broken air conditioner, this event has been rescheduled for Aug. 3.
Tree of Life is a restaurant on Kern Street. It’s not a studio or gallery, but its ArtHop game is strong. Tonight it will offer several workshops, including its first-ever cupcake bar.
Tickets are available in advance for the cupcake bar, or you can buy one the day of ArtHop. You not only get a cupcake, you can customize it by flavor, icing, and toppings. As part of the cupcake cost, House Manager Sandra will show you how to decorate your cupcake to Instagram-worthy levels, making you the envy of your millennial friends (they really go in for that stuff).
If cupcakes aren’t your thing, or you think “I like cupcakes but I can’t go another day without more succulents in my life,” there are other workshops available. You can sign up to make a moss mini-scape, a succulent garden, or even homemade peach jam. These workshops all come with dinner and a cupcake, and materials and instructions are included in the cost.
Finally, you can show your Fresno pride with a hand-printed t-shirt or tote created by you with help from the good folks at Urban Crow Apparel, who use traditional printmaking techniques (check out their shirt with the Pacific Southwest Building on it here).
Transforming ArtHop Into Lindy Hop
Even if you feel like a dead hoofer, there’s still hope for your dancing skills with instruction from the Fresno Swing Dance organization. At 8 p.m. at the Cultural Arts Park, you can enjoy swing dancing, swing music, and grub from food trucks such as Raw Fresno. This is a free event (you’ll have to buy your own food, of course), so even if you’re too shy to put on your dancing shoes, you can show up and watch the dancers evoke an older era in one of Fresno’s newest parks.
For more info on this event, check out the Facebook event page here.
Play That Funky Music, DJ
Perhaps you feel like Thursday nights aren’t complete without live music. If this is the case, be sure to make time in your evening to visit Gazebo Gardens, which is home to a beer garden and visiting food trucks, to listen to the sounds of Acoustic Soul.
Also tonight, Root General will have bootleg Peanuts posters available as well as music from DJ Nesto and DJ Don D. Word is, there will be a Peanuts-inspired quesadilla by Quesadilla Gorilla available as well.
And nearby, K-Jewel Art Gallery will have Chris Janzen’s Jazz Ensemble on hand to entertain art (and music) lovers. More info on this event here.
Make A Toast to Thursday
Finally, Fresno’s brewery scene is hopping during tonight’s ArtHop as well (see what I did there?).
At Full Circle Brewing Co, you can sample the beer made by graduates of the Beer U program—a course in which students learn about the craft beer industry. It’s a great way to enjoy a cold one and keep craft beer crafty in Fresno. For more details on this, check out the event page here.
Over on Fulton St., Tioga-Sequioa Brewing Co. will have music, vendors, food trucks, and a new brew to celebrate their “Arts and Hops” event. This month’s beer will be Jungle Juice West Coast IPA, and it sounds like fruity deliciousness. Here’s the event page if you want more information.
So there you have it—there’s really no shortage of art, activities, music, and food to be had at ArtHop, which is really transforming into Awesome Hop.
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