Gladewater Texas Inagural Art Stroll a Hit

Posted: August 13, 2011 in GREEN, Helping Hands Events, NEW FRIENDS, Table Of Contents, TRAVEL / Gatherings

Gladewater Texas Inaugural art stroll a hit

I started my day flipping a coin. Heads, I was off to see Dave Mathews, Willie Nelson and the farm aid 2011 family for one of the greatest causes ever. Tails, I was turning east for the Gladewater Art Stroll.

There wouldn’t be much to read about the Art Stroll if it was heads so you probably figured out the answer already. I kind of rigged it though because my lady friend didn’t want to go with me which meant it would of been a boring motorcycle ride.

I packed up my wood carving studio, printed some Helping Hands Charity Network flyers and down highway 80 I went.

Just past Hawkins I spotted a teenaged boy dragging a military duffel down the shoulder. Being a servant of the lord and apprentice to Jesus it was my calling to offer my assistance. Shane was so over joyed at the chance to rest his heavy baggage that he stood in the road while trying to explain where he needed to go.

I had to interrupt to get him out of danger. Once safely in my car he continued to explain how his parents move out deadline had past and he was left homeless to learn a lesson from the school of hard knocks. He had a job secured to start Monday but had no friends willing to put him up 2 nights.

He was extremely nervous about sleeping outside so I told him my story about how I survived most of 2008 and 2010 homeless. You will have to follow my travel blog to read about all great causes our charity helped during that adventure.

I could see his breathing calm as I assured him it was all going to work out while following my survival pointers. Again, another story for a later article. After offering him bedding and such, I pointed him in the right direction for secluded shelter and water near his job assignment and we parted ways.

I wish I had numbers for friends in Longview to give him a temporary couch but hopefully he gets on and Craigslist to find a place soon. Only an hour later I would meet several new friends at the Art Stroll to help but with no way to reach him.

As I rolled down the winding entrance to Gladewater’s rustic brick main street around 11 am the streets were already full of cars even though the events start time was 1pm. Gladewater’s first Art Stroll was looking to have a pleasing attendance.

I would soon learn that most the shops open at 9am and 11 was their peek traffic time. Art Stroll organizer, Marsha, would later explain she chose a 1pm start time because it is the peak traffic time.

Only Gladewater Books Store was setting up art outside their store and there where no booth vendors or food trailers so I turned my attention indoors. I dipped in and out of the 21+ stores and browsed about 7 individual artist displays before setting up my carving station on the main street corner.  It was time to get busy creating to raise $ for causes in need.

There was another outdoor art in motion display next to me. It was Caricature artist, Annetta Stoker. I had the honor of witnessing her great talent throughout the day and highly recommend you visit! She had that energetic personality you would expect from a cartoonist. The other attending artists were as follows: Monty Graham, Dolph Miller, Cissy Boyd, Karen White, Marilyn Sparks, Ellisa Mitchell, A. Davis Smith, Richard Garrigus, James Garner, Lisa Horlander, Mary Davis, Andre Knel, Lynnea Evans, Amanda Dunnavant, John Dietz, Shelby Taylor, Jamie Maldonado, Nysa Love, Mary Lynn Bublitz, Sawni Nix, Rome Smith, Jennyfer Keohane, Karly Kamel, Ciara Moore, Betty Northcutt, Lum Newburn IV, Amanda Campbell, Kyla Valek, Anup Bhandari, Astha Tuladhar, Maureen Williams, Daniel Kanu Jr., Darryl Guzzman, Jody Boone, and Thmo Barnett.

As I sat carving some basic mushroom sculptures over the next 5+ hours there was never a moment of loneliness. I constantly had people asking questions or taking our flyers. At times I had a crowd of 5+ watching and listening to my stories.

Two members of the Gladewater Chamber briefed me on their recycling efforts and offered to vote for funding for the Helping Hands Network to do a cleanup. Gladewater currently collects Sunday at 6p at the Church and offers ice cream and cake during the event.

By the end of the event I raised a fair amount of cash donations as well as 2 internet sale commitments and several suggestions for causes in need including the Humane Enforcement Legal Program (H.E.L.P.) ranch by the south Tyler -Palestine water treatment facility. Internet sales are where the Helping Hands Network volunteers buy or sell on your behalf and keep any bonus amount beyond your target price.

The Art Stroll appeared to attract around 2000 unique visitors. The most current details are posted on the Gladewater Main Street Program’s facebook fan page. Add it now so you get their updates for the next event.

The event ended with an artist reception at the magnificent Whisenhunt Center. While socializing with the other artists, news of my ministry quickly spread and talks turned towards cleaning up east Texas. I collected several new facebook fans as well as locations in need of cleanup up efforts like lookout mountain and Jacksonville parks. My favorite works on display were by Sharie Hatchett Bohlmann and can be seen at (

“All in all, it was a great day and the event went off with out a hitch and we look forward to increasing the awareness for our next event,” said organizer Marsha.

*The Whisenhunt center boosts state of the art equipment, art gallery, catering, theater facilities and professional event planning. Contact Catherine Joan Sturkie at 903.738.0277 to reserve the center for your next event.

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