The District Gallery Crawl exhibits Columbia artists

Thursday, May 4, 2006 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 12:02 p.m. CDT, Tuesday, July 1, 2008

At The District Gallery Crawl tonight an artist just might talk you into sitting for a portrait.

Columbia artist J.D. King will be seated outside the Columbia Art League to draw and paint passers-by (and interested portrait-buyers) from 6 to 9 p.m.

King said he enjoys engaging himself in people’s lives by drawing and talking to them.

“I just can’t help myself,” he said.

But like any artist King has to earn a living. Fewer Columbia art enthusiasts are willing to put forth the cash to own a locally created masterpiece than big city enthusiasts, he said.

“It’d be kind of nice if they bought something,” he said as a joke.

That’s much of the motivation behind the Crawl, said Leah Wyllys-Gambiza, assistant director of the Central Columbia Association. The original reason was to promote the galleries in The District.

“It’s a night of not only viewing art but also to mingle,” she said. “It’s a nice evening full of activity.”

The Crawl is free and open to the public. Fourteen venues will show the work of Columbia artists, and several of them will provide refreshments and entertainment.

The Art League is in the midst of its “Elements of Nature” show, Executive Director Jill Stedem said. “It’s just another way to give people exposure to art and do it in a fun way,” Stedem said.

Gallery Crawl attendees are encouraged to stop by all the venues and pick up a letter of the alphabet for the Crawl’s contest. The collected letters will spell out the name of a “mystery” artist, and winners will be drawn from the correct guesses for prizes.

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