Downtown Pomona prepares for ‘spooky season’ with Art Walk

By Michael Yu & Ethereal Reyes, Oct. 18, 2022

The city of Pomona hosted this month’s Art Walk in Downtown Pomona on Oct. 8, bringing with it a host of attractions such as an art gallery, various vendors and a mariachi band to get into the Halloween spirit.  

All of the vendors at the Art Walk were prepared to hand out candy to trick-or-treaters as costumed attendees strolled through the 10 blocks of Downtown Pomona where small business pop-ups, live performances and art exhibits materialized.  

One of the attractions was “Birds & Participles,” an art exhibit by artist and poet Lisa Segal. The gallery featured several different mediums of art, like paintings and figures, that depicted crows with text interlaced through the bird.  

“I thought that the crow was an empty piece of paper that wanted a story on it. You know, you can tell its words, but you can’t really read it,” said Segal. “Crows are so vocal, but we don’t really understand them because we’re lucky if we understand each other.”  

Segal shared that the inspiration for this gallery came from examining maps of Los Angeles and observing that many highways and industrial landmarks took on the shapes of a crow’s body.  

“So, the underlying subtext of all of this work is grids and primary shapes, which is what I was working on in the studio, meeting text and crows,” said Segal. “I was looking at this map of the Los Angeles area, and I saw birds that were flying in the freeways and highway systems. So that’s how the crows showed up in the artwork.”  

Segal’s artwork featured 3D models of crows created with repurposed paper materials and designed to incorporate abstract visual representations of her poetry.  

Photo courtesy of Ethereal Reyes

The Art Walk transformed rustic Downtown Pomona into a bustling market with vibrant stalls and stores occupying two long streets. Remixed Halloween music blared from speakers as crowds of people in Halloween outfits viewed everything available at the Art Walk and celebrated Halloween early.  

In addition, the event hosted a Halloween costume contest where children, teenagers and adults had the chance to win prizes and money.  

The Art Walk was also a celebration of Hispanic culture, with several interiors adorned with decorations for Hispanic Heritage Month as well as a mariachi band from the Pomona dA Center for the Arts playing Spanish songs.  

“Performing these songs, I feel like I am back with my parents from Mexico,” said Kaelyn Valencia, the guitar and violin player for the band and student at International Polytechnic High School. “I really like embracing my culture because I feel like it’s a unique part of me and I really enjoy it.”  

The band performed several Spanish songs, including “Cielito Lindo, an 1882 song by Quirino Mendoza y Cortés.  

Photo courtesy of Ethereal Reyes

A variety of vendors featured Latinx staples such as agua frescas and dulce enchilados which are sweet candies doused in chilis such as chamoy and tajin.  

Other booths were overflowing with Halloween crafts such as artist Rose Greenshield’s table, which featured a variety of handmade ceramic ornaments from incense holders to hair clips. Each piece was detailed with intricate designs of dainty moons, skulls, butterflies and goddesses that were reminiscent of the Halloween spirit.  

“I’m really happy to see this many people. I love doing the Art Walk, I have been doing it for a couple of years now,” said Greenshield. “I believe in my spirituality, and the quirky things like the steampunk and skulls, is stuff I like so you’re gonna find that in almost every single thing I make.”  

For more information on attending events hosted by the city of Pomona, visit the city of Pomona’s calendar.  

Feature image courtesy of Ethereal Reyes

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