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West Haven Art Crawl to promote arts, artists in a casual atmosphere

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WEST HAVEN — A rule of a gallery is that visitors cannot touch the art. On Thursday, however, they at least can talk to the artists.

City resident Samantha Violante, organizer of the West Haven Art Crawl set for Thursday, said she for years has envisioned holding an event where residents meet with local artists in a casual atmosphere, but she had been thwarted by bureaucracy and the pandemic.

“Just being an artist and wanting to have things to do that were creative made me think, if it’s not here, we have to make it happen,” Violante said.

Beginning shortly before 5 p.m., residents can pay $10 for special access to discounted drinks at several bars on Campbell Avenue starting at JR’s Place and ending at Scoreboards Cafe. Participants will get a special tote bag, cup and map detailing the bar crawl down the avenue.

At each bar will be two local artists showcasing some of their work for sale and availing themselves for conversation with patrons and crawlers.


Nick Martin, co-owner of Billie Martin’s Neighborhood Pub, will be pulling double duty — hosting a stop on the crawl and displaying his own photography and paintings.

“At heart I’m an artist, that’s what I do for my other part of my life,” he said. “People need art in their lives.”

Violante said she believes this year is one of the most opportune times to launch arts programming, in part because she’s heard from others that the pandemic has led some people to reflect inward.

“Art can be many forms: it doesn’t have to just be painting, it could be drawing, writing, beading or sewing. I think people are rediscovering that and there’s a lot more interest,” she said.

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