San Marco benches Friday Art Walk, runs with Uptown Saturday Night
By Ashley Wermick | firstname.lastname@example.org
Most residents of St. Augustine are familiar with the First Friday Art Walk, when art galleries downtown stay open late and showcase local artists. However, less people are familiar with Uptown Saturday Night.
Both events are similar, but First Friday’s main focus is local art. Uptown Saturday Night branches out to include clothing stores, antique shops and restaurants.
Around 40 businesses participate in Uptown Saturday Night monthly.
W.B. Tatter Studio and Gallery is one of these venues. Owner, Wendy Tatter came up with the idea for Uptown Saturday Night.
Tatter used to participate in First Friday, but once her gallery opened on San Marco Ave., she found herself missing the monthly event.
“I stayed open the first Friday after I moved and nobody knew I was here because I was so far out of the way,” said Tatter. “I was traumatized.”
After that, Tatter went to the shop owners along San Marco Ave. and proposed the idea of Uptown Saturday Night.
Tatter said that there is no competition between Uptown Saturday Night and First Friday Art Walk because they are different events scheduled on different nights.
“The artists on the other side of town like to have another event that we can go to,” said Karen Sheridan, an artist who participates in First Friday. Sheridan also said that all of the shop owners are very friendly towards one another.
The event is not limited to just businesses and art galleries. Many artists display their artwork near the sidewalk and street performers are set up along San Marco Ave. Tatter said belly dancers and flame throwers have performed in the past.
Uptown Saturday Night brings a lot of extra business to the shops and galleries that participate.
Tatter has a guest artist showcase his or her artwork at her gallery every month. She said this opens up a lot of business and networking opportunities for her and the artist.
Uptown Saturday Night is a very relaxed event. It gives residents and tourists alike the opportunity to check out shops and galleries that might otherwise be overlooked. Tatter said the pace of the event is easygoing and not overcrowded.
“The turnout keeps getting better and better every year,” said Tatter.
Tatter has seen Flagler students at Uptown Saturday Night in the past, but would love for more students to participate and visit the event.
“It is definitely an event that Flagler students would enjoy,” said Tatter. “I might even find some students’ artwork to show.”
Uptown Saturday Night is held from 5 to 9 p.m. the last Saturday of every month and is located along San Marco Ave.’s antique and shopping district. The next event will be held Nov. 28.