Assemblage artist and activist Jimmy Descant — better known as the Rocketman, for the shiny retro missiles he builds from pieces of old junk — is a fixture in the high-country art colony of Salida who represents the freer side of art-making, politics and living life. That’s a reputation he’d like to uphold, even during this weekend’s 21st annual Salida Artwalk, the annual town-wide open house that spotlights the local galleries and artists that earned Salida its 2012 certification as an official Colorado Creative District, along with Denver’s Art District on Santa Fe.
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Considering that the honor came with a hefty grant, it should be interesting to see what’s cooking up along the Arkansas River, especially since Descant and his freewheeling buddies have something extra planned: As an extension of the art walk, with which they have no beef, they’ll concurrently host an ALT/WALK at Box of Bubbles, aka the Rogue Lot, located at 135 East 2nd Street in Salida, today through Sunday.
“I’m trying to kick a small-town art walk in the pants and raise the excitement level and the participatory and instant-creativity levels through the roof,” Descant explains. “Doing ALT/WALK is my way of goosing the Artwalk in order to bring more young people into town to enjoy it.” And he’ll be doing that in a variety of compelling ways: with “instant art” activities galore (including an invitation to BYO junk to help build an impromptu sculpture); an alternative art market; a speaker’s corner and poetry soapbox; burlesque and sideshow per-formances; a drum parade through town; a “hippie-esque art car”; a Sunday-morning retro-soul Church of Dance — and who knows what else.
There will also be a detour on Saturday night to Salida’s SteamPlant, for the exhibit We Three Kings and a live art performance by Descant, with Brinkley Messick and Mike “Eyeball” Kneeskern (tickets are $10).
ALT/WALK begins at 10 a.m. daily, today through Sunday, but don’t forget to visit the sixty galleries and venues in town that are celebrating the official art walk, too. Most events are free. For information, visit salidaartwalk.org and the ALT/WALK Salida Facebook event page.
June 28-30, 2013