WALK_BYE EMBRACES THE HEALING POWER OF NATURE, ENCOURAGING THE COLLABORATIVE ASPECT OF PUBLIC ART.
Founder of Walk-Bye, Catalina Aranguren, has always been inspired by the power of art to transform and connect us. The pandemic has allowed for her to share her artwork virtually in other countries including Sweden, UK, Hungary and Spain. Art has become a way to continue to connect to others during a time when we all feel so suddenly disconnected from the outside world. The human element is severely missing, what we all really need right now — connection to others outside the virtual.
Catalina started off by creating a space where one could view art and take a break from the virtual world. Based on the the idea that there is no better tool for connection than art, Walk Bye started off as a two hour window where artists and neighbors in a 6 block radius could share each other's work and grew to encompassed a physical exhibit "Nature Wwalk" that took place in 11 parks across Jersey City with 100 artists from around the globe and 39 local children's work in an event that lasted 4 days, and some artwork is still up.
Nature Walk was open to international artists 20 years and older and received over 300 submissions from 34 countries, 14 states, and 22 New Jersey cities. The range of mediums submitted spanned the gamut from fashion, to collage, photography, painting, sculpture and many more.
Artist Lorenzo Pickett, who participated in the first Walk_Bye event (June 2020) said about the event: “It’s important to be a part of this show because of the exposure. Jersey City is definitely a city that is culturally diverse and we have a lot of beauty in it… We are philosophers, we are creators, and we have the potential to change, rethink, reshape, the way we think, the way we act, the way we respond to things.” This is the goal of Walk_Bye; creating a new way to be creative and to see art, not limited to the traditional spaces. Places that some of us do not feel comfortable in during this time of pandemic.
Babacar Traore, a photographer from Senegal who submitted for the JCAST Walk_Bye event, sent the organizer an email saying this: “I love the way the paintings are scattered across the street: a real disorder within the order. This will allow everyone to have access. For me, art should not be locked up in galleries or museums or just reserved for the elite.” (translated from French for this press release)
This WALK-BYE opportunities are wonderful ways to get outdoors provided you follow the rules for social distancing. During this time of COVID-19, the walks should be enjoyed as a solitary activity or strictly with members of your immediate household.