The studio artist at Uncommon Art Gallery & Studios talks about the Hudson Gallery Hop, which returns from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Aug. 9 at five locations – Fair Trade on Main, Hudson Fine Art & Framing, The Red Twig, Standing Rock Gallery and Uncommon Art Gallery & Studios – in downtown Hudson. 

What can visitors look forward to from the Hudson Gallery Hop?

From the start, we found that having different themes helped keep the Gallery Hops fresh and interesting … for the guests as well as us studios and galleries. Each of the five locations puts its own spin on the theme and it seems to create a more cohesive experience. In June, the theme was “Secret Gardens,” a nod to the local Home and Garden Tour but with a twist. In addition to featuring art and artists along that theme, we collected donations for Harvest Home, a shelter for women and children in Akron. We’re small (but artfully mighty), and the Gallery Hop lets us work together to promote the arts as well as causes we care about.

“The Lady of Shallot” posed mournfully in the window of Hudson Fine Art & Framing. Photo by Kathy Johnson courtesy of the Hudson Gallery Hop.

What’s specifically in store for this month’s Gallery Hop? What’s the theme and which locations are involved?

This month’s theme is one of our favorites, “Living Art.” In past years, visitors have seen artwork come to life, dressed as Whistler’s Mother, painted like Pollack and even made prints in Warhol’s “Factory.” It’s a very playful theme and we encourage folks to dress up, too.

This year, Hudson Fine Art & Framing will recreate “Morning” by Maxfield Parrish and host a wine and cheese reception for its Annual Photography Show. At Uncommon Art Gallery & Studios, “Hello Dali” will be the focus and we’ll add surreal touches to our upstairs location with some fun activities. Fair Trade on Main will bring Renoir’s bistro to life with photo ops. South on state Route 91, The Red Twig will feature photographer Steve Richards and his night sky photos. At Standing Rock Gallery, visitors can take part in an art project/game of Exquisite Corpse, which inspired artists like Peter Max and Pablo Picasso. Locations are marked and events are free and open to the public.

In addition to stopping by galleries, what else can attendees do this Friday while in Hudson?

Walk over to the First & Main Green (behind historic Main Street) and enjoy the music of Juke Hounds from 7 to 9 p.m. First & Main features live music on summer weekends in July and August. Check out the restaurants or get an ice cream or frozen yogurt by the Green.

“Bob Ross” was spotted circulating at one of the Hudson Gallery Hops. Photo by Karen Koch courtesy of the Hudson Gallery Hop.

When and how did the Hudson Gallery Hop get started?

We started the Gallery Hop six years ago as a grassroots effort and it’s still artist-run. Several of us with studios and galleries were brainstorming ways to shine a light on Hudson’s art scene. Larger events had taken place, like an Art Walk sponsored by Leadership Hudson and the annual Art on the Green show in August, but we wanted to keep the momentum going throughout the year to promote and support local art. We tried different variations before bringing the Art Hop back to its roots two years ago and renaming it the Gallery Hop. Keeping the focus on galleries and studios and our events to once a quarter (with an extra month for good measure) helps us balance this arty labor of love.

When are the rest of this year’s Hudson Gallery Hops?

Oct. 4 and then the Holiday Hop is Dec. 13.

Lead image: Visitors dressed in costume and sat in a vintage rocker to become “Whistler’s Mothers” at Uncommon Art Gallery & Studios. Photo by Karen Koch courtesy of the Hudson Gallery Hop.