How does a leisurely afternoon experiencing the work of some of the most talented artists in the Bay Area while enjoying small sips sound? This Saturday, June 9, kicks off Benicia Art Walk 2018 held the second Saturday of almost every summer and fall month (June, July, September and October). With eight incredible participating galleries, art lovers will need an entire afternoon to take it all in.

Benicia Art Walk, held mostly on First Street, is a collection of galleries that join together for a cultured afternoon that also includes live entertainment, demonstrations, a variety of unique shops, historical landmarks, dining options and of course, beautiful views. The event is from 2-7 p.m. and is free to the public (as is parking), which makes it the perfect activity to pair with a meal and shopping. Here is a detailed map to help you plan your day; EVENT MAP.

Your first stop, Gallerie Renee Marie, is a bit of an outlier on the map but the indoor/outdoor gallery offers a co-op of creativity in paintings, sculptures, jewelry and lighting. And by starting at the top of First Street, at K Street, you can enjoy a leisurely downhill stroll past a myriad of restaurants, bars, antique stores, boutiques and vintage shops.

If your art interests include fine art oil painting, pop next door to Milinda Perry Salon and Gallery, where the work of Garaldine Arata will be on display. While classically trained, Arata’s newest work is a marriage of fine and decorative art. Her beautifully executed paintings in oil are enhanced with mixed media that include molding pastes and foils.

Just a few blocks down is “gallery row,” consecutive blocks of galleries and boutiques filled with art. HQ Gallery, known for featuring both established and emerging artists, takes pride in the vast array of styles on display. They show everything from needlework to printmaking.

Next up is Gallery 621, dedicated to promoting contemporary art. The gallery’s featured artist during the first Art Walk will be Robert Nelson, a well-known sculptor specializing in recycled materials. At 5 p.m. Robert will share his stories about the joy and challenges his art reflects.

For those who love the great outdoors, Benicia Plein Air Gallery is a lovely compilation of paintings capturing nature’s light. Don’t miss the artist’s reception held from 4-6 p.m. Artist Susan Johnson will be on hand sharing her oil paintings of New Mexico, “Journey to the Land of Enchantment.”

This is where your Art Walk enters Benicia’s historic Tannery. Inside, guests will find Once Upon a Canvas and The Little Art Shop. Both display work from a variety of artists with unique styles. Once Upon a Canvas is a studio where artists create, display, and sell their works. There will be multiple demonstrations, including a fashion show of Trammel Designs by Sylvia Trammel.

Your walk concludes with The Little Art Shop, where you can enjoy sweeping views of the Carquinez Strait and a chocolate pairing to sweeten your visit. The Little Art Shop features jewelry, pottery, metal work, glass, paintings and much more.

Benicia Wine Walk

If wine and shopping are your thing, there’s also another fun event you may want to check out. Save the date for Benicia’s Wine Walk Saturday, June 16 from 1-5 p.m. More than 15 stores will be pouring wine for shoppers looking to sip and shop their way through downtown Benicia.

Tickets are $30 per person or $55 for two in advance. If they don’t sell out, shoppers can purchase tickets the day of the event for $35 each. Your ticket includes 15 tastes and a souvenir wine glass. Tasters must be 21 years and older. Get your tickets online and view a complete list of participating shops HERE.

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