When Meridian Art Week began in 2016, the event had a chalk art competition and a peer-to-peer art exchange. Since then the week-long celebration of the arts has expanded, adding new panels and events with each year's installment.

This year the Meridian Arts Commission, the event’s organizer, worked to expand the festival's scope, incorporating more types of art in the event, including songwriting, dance and writing. “Sometimes people don’t think about all the ways that art is in their life,” Hillary Blackstone, commissions and committees coordinator for the city of Meridian, said.

Along with the festival, city staff and arts commissioners have worked to grow the arts community across Meridian in recent years.

Meridian Art Week is Sept. 3-7 in downtown Meridian. The festival, known for its chalk art competition, will include live music, a film screening and the annual art drop — a peer-to-peer art exchange. There will also be an artist resources and grants panel with insights into local arts opportunities.

Last year organizers opened up the annual chalk art competition to all ages of the public. This year the competition will have four categories for professional, high school, adult, family and youth entries. Local artist group the Plein Air Painters will also be scattered around downtown throughout the week painting scenes of Meridian.

On Aug. 13 Meridian City Council approved a sculpture by artist Daniel Borup at Fire Station no. 6. In January Council approved two new pieces of public art, recommended by the Meridian Arts Commission and Parks and Recreation Commission, in Champion Park and Renaissance Park.

After Meridian Art Week the Arts Commission plans to present a Strategic Plan for the Arts Meridian City Council for approval. The plan would span from fiscal year 2020 to 2025 and includes an emphasis on the public engaging and participating in the local arts. The presentation is planned for Sept. 17, Blackstone said.

ART WEEK SCHEDULE

All week: Meridian Art Drop. Create your own piece of art, label it with your information, and share it by hiding it downtown for someone else to find. Find forms on the Meridian Art Week site.

All week: Meridian Art Week Scavenger Hunt. Find a Bingo sheet the Art Week site.

Sunday, Sept. 1

2 p.m.: Make Art at Meridian Library's Cherry Lane Branch. Directions and supplies provided.

Tuesday, Sept. 3

11 a.m. to 4 p.m.: Make and Take Art Kits at Happy Hour Homemaker, $5

12-2 p.m.: Art Paint & Drop at The Angry Easel

7 p.m.: Meridian Art Week Kick-Off at the Meridian Community Center. Includes art exchange and dance lessons.

Wednesday, Sept. 4

11 a.m. to 4 p.m.: Make and Take Art Kits at Happy Hour Homemaker

12-2 p.m.: Art Paint & Drop at The Angry Easel

6 p.m.: Artist Resources and Grants Panel at Potter's Tea House. Representatives from the Alexa Rose Foundation, Idaho Commission on the Arts, and Surel's Place will share their insights on how artists can stay informed on local arts and grants opportunities.

5:30-7:30 p.m.: Daniel Borup will be on site demonstrating his sculpting.

6 p.m.: Songwriter Workshop at Meridian City Hall, Robert D. Corrie Conference Room, hosted by Niccole Blaze (Blaze and Kelly) and John D. Stefan (Tandem Rain, Radiodust, and The Retreads).

6 p.m.: Writer's Bloc at Meridian Library's Cherry Lane Branch. Meet other writers, hear from local authors, and share your writing in a workshop setting. For author dates or workshop submissions, please email bri@mld.org.

Throughout the evening: Plein Air Painters in the streets of downtown Meridian. Various plein air painters will be scattered around downtown painting Meridian scenes. Stop and chat with these artists, some may be selling cards or prints. Some of these artists are individuals and others belong to groups like Plein Air Painters of Idaho and the Pastel Society of the West Coast (Idaho Region).

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Thursday, Sept. 5

11 a.m. to 4 p.m.: Make and Take Art Kits at Happy Hour Homemaker

6 p.m.: Meridian Art Sip at Something Special Antiques. This is the Meridian Arts Foundation's annual fundraiser. Tickets available through the foundation.

Friday, Sept. 6

11 a.m. to 4 p.m.: Make and Take Art Kits at Happy Hour Homemaker

4:30-7 p.m.: Artists' Reception for Patricia Gibbons, Bert Hiner & Tarey Potter at Initial Point Gallery, Meridian City Hall. Local musicians Andy McDevitt and James Turner from the Uptown Chiefs will perform.

5-8 p.m.: Rock Painting at 44 East, a home and gift boutique.

5-7 p.m.: Open House at The Angry Easel. $15 paint session (without instruction).

6 p.m.: Art Walk Downtown at City Hall Plaza to Generations Plaza (and beyond). Live music.

7 p.m.: Best Small Town Throwdown Rodeo Film Screening at Meridian City Hall (main conference room)

7 p.m.: Charlotte's Web, at Treasure Valley Children's Theater. Please purchase tickets in advance as seating is limited.

Saturday, Sept. 7

9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.: Chalk Art Competition at Generation's Plaza

9-11:30 a.m.: Professional artists

10-11:30 a.m.: High school artist teams

11 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.: Public participants (day-of registration available)

10-11 a.m.: Maharlika Performing Arts at Generation's Plaza. MPA is a Filipino Cultural Dance Group.

Mid-morning to afternoon: Plein Air Painters in Downtown

11 a.m. to 4 p.m.: Make and Take Art Kits at Happy Hour Homemaker

2 p.m.: Charlotte's Web at Treasure Valley Children's Theater

2:30 p.m.: Concerts on Broadway at Meridian City Hall Plaza, featuring The All New High Street Party Band

Businesses displaying art all week:

  • Caleb's Chop Shop
  • Deja Brew Laugh a Latte
  • Meridian City Hall's Initial Point Gallery
  • Potter's Tea House
  • SlyceBox

Learn more at meridiancity.org/mac/macmenu/art-week.

​Patty Bowen is the Meridian Press reporter. You can reach her at pbowen@idahopress.com or follow her on Twitter @pattybowenMP.

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