A few things within walking distance on Friday night: Multimedia work about social discrepancies - which includes a cloaked figure; a folk singer at the Nordic Center; an exhibition of landscape photography, images taken in Iceland.

The Downtown Arts Walk, in its second month, is a multi-venue gallery-bar-studio space tour that considers a variety of arts and spans from Art in the Alley to the Duluth Art Institute, to 315 Gallery to Lizzard's Art Gallery & Framing. The free drop-in event is 5-8 p.m. Friday at the more than two dozen downtown spots featuring a signature grey and yellow logo, designed by Jon Hinkel, who's The Tight Squeek Press is among the stops.

"We started having a lot of conversations back in February about how to get something like this started," said Amanda Hunter of Joseph Nease Gallery.

There have been similar events in the past, and they looked for what successes came from those, she said.

Alison Aune will have work available for viewing in the Pineapple Arts Building.
Alison Aune will have work available for viewing in the Pineapple Arts Building.
Now, five months later, the nonprofit Downtown Arts Collective includes 25 organizations and has as its co-chairs Joellyn Rock of the new Rockingchair Studio and Hunter. There are monthly arts walks scheduled on the final Friday of the month throughout the rest of the year.

Last month, at Joseph Nease Gallery, about 60 people visited the space, Hunter said.

"And people that we hadn't really seen before," she added.

Landscape photographer Ryan Tischer purposefully timed the opening reception of a new exhibit with last month's event. "Ten Days in Iceland" drew well, he said. There were the usual visitors, interested in the new works in addition to the drop-ins from the walk.

There is a reason it is called the Downtown Duluth Arts Walk - plural on the arts, more than one gallery manager noted. The events are meant to include a wide range of works. During the upcoming walk, for instance, folk musician Rachael Kilgour will play at the Nordic Center, Alison Aune will feature her patterned pieces at the Pineapple Arts Building, and Red Herring Lounge is showing sailboat paintings by Bill Shipley. Carla Hamilton's "Minnesota Nice" exhibition at Prove uses a mix of media to consider how different backgrounds can lead to similar journeys.

Last month, Wagner Zaun Architecture showed off images of tiny houses. There will be works in the window, but they won't be open this go-round - but only because there is a scheduling conflict.

By artist Warren Rosser
By artist Warren Rosser
"We're straddling a bit the creative visual arts of it and the functional aspects of architecture," said Doug Zaun. "We're on the edge, but we want to participate and support the the downtown arts community.

After the first arts walk, other downtown spots wanted in. The late additions have made it hard to make an accurate brochure - one of those good kind of problems, according to Hunter.

"This is good momentum," she said, "but it's hard to keep up."

(At this point, it's best to follow along on the Facebook event page.)

Among the interested businesses: Dubh Linn Irish Pub.

"It's something that has been discussed downtown for a long time," owner Mike Maxim said. "But it took somebody with vision to put it together and make it happen."

Maxim said he envisions displaying works by a local visual artist each month and plans to join in during September's walk. The crew is in the process of looking for artists and figuring out the logistics of hanging works.

If You Go

What: Downtown Arts Walk

When: 5-8 p.m. Friday, though some spaces stay open later

Participating venues

(subject to change)

315 Gallery at the Washington Co-op, 315 N. Lake Ave.

AICHO Galleries, 202 W. Second St.

Alison Aune Studio, 128 W. First St., second floor

AROLA Architecture Studio, 205 W. First St.

Art in the Alley, 230 E. Superior St.

Blush, 18 N First Ave. W.

CF design ltd, 230 E. Superior St., suite 102

Duluth Art Institute, 506 W. Michigan St.

Duluth Coffee Company, 105 E. Superior St.

Joseph Nease Gallery, 23 W. First St.

Kirsten Aune Textiles, 134 W. First St., Magic Smelt shop

Legacy Glassworks, 32 W. First St.

Lizzard's Gallery, 11 W. Superior St.

Mavis Designer Showroom, 19 N. Lake Ave.

Nordic Center, 23 N. Lake Ave.

Pineapple Arts, 124 W. First St.

Prove, 21 N. Lake Ave.

The Red Herring Lounge, 208 E. First St.

The Rathskellar, 208 E. Superior St., corner of Michigan St. and Second Ave. E.

Rockingchair Studio, 120 W. First St.

The Tight Squeek Press, 128 W. First St.

Tischer Photographic Gallery, 5 W. Superior St.

Wagner Zaun Architecture, 3 W. Superior St.