A transportation hub, three restaurants, a hotel and a museum in downtown Aurora all will become art galleries Friday night for the eighth Aurora ArtWalk, called "Some like it HOT!"
A fire-eater, a communal art project featuring melted wax, a demonstration of a physics apparatus called a flame tube and more than 25 artists of all types will bring the heat to the event, which runs from 7 to 10 p.m. along North Broadway Avenue.
If you goWhat: Aurora ArtWalk
When: 7 to 10 p.m. Friday, Oct. 5
Where: Six locations along North Broadway Avenue in downtown Aurora including the Aurora Transportation Center, Two Brothers Roundhouse, Jake's Bagels & Deli, Comfort Suites Aurora, Aurora Regional Fire Museum and La Quinta de los Reyes.
Who: Produced by Cultural Creatives, Inc., and sponsored by Aurora Downtown, Hollywood Casino and the city of Aurora
"We try and highlight a different area of the downtown with every ArtWalk," said Melissa Mercado with Cultural Creatives Inc., which is producing the ArtWalk. "We take over businesses and/or empty spaces and turn them into a gallery for the evening."
Walkers can stop by the Aurora Transportation Center, Two Brothers Roundhouse, Jake's Bagels & Deli, Comfort Suites Aurora, the Aurora Regional Fire Museum and La Quinta de los Reyes to view paintings and photographs, listen to musical acts, experience performance art and enjoy refreshments.
Now, about that fire-eater ...
When ArtWalks began about five years ago, "One of our original founding members, Sue Vos, said she always wanted to have a fire-eater," Mercado said. Vos died in June, so "it's an informal tribute to Sue."
So this fire-eater -- is he a fire-swallower? A fire-breather?
"Actually, he does both," Mercado said.
Fire-eater Tom Hill will be performing every half-hour at the fire museum at 53 N. Broadway Ave., which fittingly bills itself as "the hottest place in town."
"He does all kinds of fun and dangerous things with fire, with the big disclaimer of 'Don't try this at home,'" David Lewis, the museum's curator, said.
Performing while Hill gives his mouth a break from the flames will be Jeff Weber demonstrating a Rubens Tube, a physics instrument that models sound waves using flames. Another performing troupe, called Real Women Bellydance, also will entertain crowds at the fire museum.
"We've got everything from flames to bellies," Lewis said, sounding like a circus promoter. "Every 15 minutes, we'll be burning something."
At the Aurora Transportation Center at 233 N. Broadway Ave., ArtWalk participants can melt red, yellow and orange wax and crayons with hair dryers as part of an effort to form a collage of flames. Mercado said ArtWalk organizers like to include a hands-on component to each twice-yearly ArtWalk so everyone who attends cannot only view and appreciate art, but also create it.
More than a dozen volunteers from a new Aurora-based nonprofit called The Light of The Heart will help out at the ArtWalk and allow patrons to register for another interactive art event -- their upcoming Painting at the Paramount fundraiser.
"We're essentially turning the Paramount Theatre into an art studio for the day," The Light of The Heart Founder Melissa Hedlund said about the Sunday, Nov. 4, event, which includes art-creating exercises led by three art therapists.
Hedlund said she is excited to experience the energy of an ArtWalk and meet the artists involved, especially as her organization aims to form more bonds among artists in the Aurora area.
"One of our goals is to connect the Aurora area through art therapy," Hedlund said.
While the ArtWalks are organized by Cultural Creatives, they also are supported by Aurora Downtown, Hollywood Casino and the city in an attempt to showcase downtown Aurora's historic venues and artist-friendly tendencies.
"It's a great thing for the city," said Chris Bauler, entertainment coordinator at Two Brothers Roundhouse, which will be hosting live entertainment by local bands Jake Mack and the Last Stand and Kevin Trudo + Meathawk Friday night during the ArtWalk. "It helps promote the local artists and it helps promote local businesses."
The roundhouse's archive bar (where the brewery serves beers from its reserves) will be transformed into a gallery for four visual artists in addition to the musical performances, which will continue past the close of the ArtWalk until 1 a.m.
"We've had gallery-style showings there in the past and it's worked out really well," Bauler said about the archive bar. "I'm hoping that Two Brothers is an initial starting point and a place that people want to end up."
Attending the ArtWalk is free. For details, visit auroraartwalk.com.