Valley’s biggest arts festival decorates downtown Visalia

Visalia’s Taste the Arts event returns in October to give Visalians opportunities to expand their artistic palette

VISALIA – The largest outdoor arts festival in the Central Valley is back to celebrate the arts in Tulare County with various types of artwork, music and other activities for residents to enjoy. 

The art council for Visalia, the Arts Consortium, invites residents to attend the return of their Taste the Arts event on Oct. 15. The festival opens at 10 a.m. and goes until 5 p.m. The event is free of charge with no tickets required for attendance. Locals can experience three city blocks worth of art, culture and wellness activities in the heart of downtown Visalia as local artists display their work along North Garden Street. The art booths will decorate the street starting from Garden Street Plaza to Oak Street.

“We continue adding interactive offerings for the entire family, so you will be sure to find something for everyone,” Ampelio Mejia Perez, executive director for the Arts Consortium, said. “We are especially glad to feature our 2022 Artist of the Year, Fransisco Alonzo, at the free printmaking demonstration area.”

Festival participants can engage with a wide range of free activities like small block printing from College of the Sequoias Printworks, which is a technique that prints patterns or designs with a carved wooden block, like a stamp. According to staff with the Arts Consortium, the college will also make larger prints by using a steamroller at the event, which will be joined by Alonzo.

Festival goers can also attend the art care with My Voice Media Center where they can participate in creating different types of art, like drawing or painting, and get a free cup of coffee. According to the My Voice Media Center website, the media center is a digital media outreach and advocacy program with a purpose to help people with wellness and recovery by providing creative outlets for self expression.

At the event, there will also be the Visalia Farmers Market food sculpture challenge, where people can make different creations from different types of produce; an instrument petting zoo from Grace Note Music Studio, where festival goers can try out instruments like ukuleles, guitars and drums; and live art demonstrations where participants can watch art come alive, according to Arts Consortium staff. Additionally, festival goers can participate in contests, admire and purchase one of a kind art and crafts that are for sale.

Participants looking to take a break can watch performing artists booked for the event for a full day of live performances. The main stage, Sound N Vision Foundation, at Garden Street Plaza will have performances from musicians Sharks of Dance, Daze Baby, Watson, Lezayr and Jonathan Lo-Fi. The Taste The Arts Youth Stage 2022 will feature the Arts Consortium’s Quick Draw, which is where artists get on stage and create specific drawings in a certain amount of time, the Grace Note Music Studio Showcase and there will also be dance performances from various youth organizations. The youth organizations include Valley Life Charter School, Tulare County Office of Education Theatre Company, Sierra Performing Arts Center, Triple Threats, Kids Edition’s DY.NAM.X and Dance Arts.

There will also be a large variety of food vendors on site for participants to grab lunch, desserts or simply purchase a coffee to sit and enjoy or take with them as they appreciate festival activities.

The Arts Consortium in Visalia is a nonprofit arts council for Tulare County. It is a state local partner of the California Arts Council, an agency in Sacramento with a mission to strengthen tools like arts, culture and creative expression to encourage a better California, according to the council’s website. The arts consortium also works closely with other nonprofits, local governments and businesses to provide opportunities to create and celebrate the arts for all residents and visitors. The Arts Consortium is committed to preserving cultural and creative diversity in the valley by building a community where the arts are a vital part of everyday life.

Start typing and press Enter to search