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December 9, 2009 > Stepping out for the holidays

Stepping out for the holidays

Niles Art Walk

By Janet Grant

"City sidewalks, busy sidewalks.
Dressed in holiday style.
In the air there's a feeling of Christmas...."

Once again it's that special time of the year when the crispness in the air and the smell of balsam and fir remind you of the magic of the season. And if you are looking for a little holiday cheer, or some of that seasonal magic, what better place to find them than in Fremont's historic downtown Niles district.

On Saturday, December 12, visitors to the area will certainly feel the spirit of the season with the Niles Art Walk. This wonderful holiday event sponsored by the Niles Merchants Association features the work of artists displaying their specialties amid an ambiance of turn-of-the-century, small-town America.

Known for its silent pictures past, luminaries such as Charlie Chaplin, Bronco Billy and other Essanay Film Studio notables made their home in Niles, giving this unique corner of Fremont an impressive history. Niles has also been known for many years as a haven for antique collectors and today it is gaining a reputation for its incomparable and budding new art scene.

On Saturday, the walking tour begins at Corrie Glass Studio, where Wayne and Judy Corrie will introduce you to the amazing lampworked glass and jewelry designs created at their studio. Interested in watching artisans at work? There will be glass blowing demonstrations and Brett Corrie will be there demonstrating techniques in creating his unique chainmaille jewelry, armor and curiosities. To round out the experience of an art form steeped in a 3,000 year old tradition, he's promised to dress in Renaissance garb.

The Fremont Art Association will have on hand their annual boutique featuring jewelry, pottery, paintings, and photographs. With several dozen artists contributing to the collection, there will be a large variety of interpretations to enjoy.

Resident artist, Ed Frakes, will be displaying his large, eclectic cr¸che collection which has benefited from his personal, talented touch. Though perhaps not considered "traditional" Nativity scenes, the collection will be unique. Enjoy them with an open mind and a sense of humor!

The Niles Gallery is featuring a juried show which includes water color, photography, oil, color pencil, pastel, acrylic, and mixed media. The gallery will also be hosting a casual reception during the Art Walk from 2:30 p.m. until 4:00 p.m.

There will be many more shops and displays to enjoy along the Art Walk from Papa John's Cartoon Studio, to galleries and boutiques featuring Native American art, hand-made quilts, beadwork and other collectibles. Just come with a comfortable pair of walking shoes and time to spend in an atmosphere of holiday cheer amid the outdoor decorations and dazzling window displays.

Get in the festive mood this season by coming to Niles, where history meets art. I bet you'll be able to find something unique, artistic and distinctive for everyone on your holiday gift list.

The Art Walk is free. Maps are available at Corrie Glass, 37683 Niles Blvd., the day of the walk. For further information, call (510) 793-8782.

Niles Art Walk
Saturday, December 12
12 p.m. to 5 p.m.

2:30 p.m. until 4:00 p.m.

Niles Boulevard, Fremont
(510) 793-8782

Maps at:
Corrie Glass
37683 Niles Blvd., Fremont

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