Van Buren block party added to monthly art night

HARLINGEN — Art night downtown just became hipper.

More vendors, more live music, more art and even buildings coming to life with 3D mapping.

That is some of the entertainment the block party on the corner of Van Buren Avenue and D Street is going to have Saturday Jan. 27.

Every last Friday of the month, downtown Harlingen art galleries stay open, vendors fill the streets and the live music sets the evening’s tone.

Now that Van Buren Avenue was recently added to the downtown district its young artists and business owners are getting involved and growing the art walk by providing more things to do and see.

“I think it’s wonderful, I know they have participated before,” said Ed Meza, Downtown Harlingen director. “It’s just a wonderful evening for downtown Harlingen for the public to come out and enjoy and discover Downtown Harlingen.”

Between the restaurant and two art studios, there is going to be a lot to enjoy and will allow people to bounce around from place to place to see live music and enjoy art.

“It’s something different and it’s more like street art,” said Mike Avalos, Mer Art Gallery artist. “It will be a little bit different than what happens on Jackson.”

Avalos recently opened his art gallery and uses the studio to make large canvas art inspired by street and graffiti art.

Avalos is one of the three business owners who are adding some flair to art night.

“We’re bringing different artists downtown to bring in more people,” said Henry Garcia, Le Pew Pew Studio owner. “We are bringing more of an urban style art and bohemian district with art, food and vendors.”

Garcia said the three owners are trying to grow the art district in Harlingen even more.

Rio Grande Grill, owner Danyul Wright hosts live music in his restaurant he co-owns with his wife Stefania. It was recently voted a best up and coming BBQ in Texas and has a new selection of craft beers.

Garcia’s Le Pew Pew Studios is a fabrication studio gallery specializing in projection mapping and stage prop designs.

During the Art Night, Garcia will turn one or more of the buildings on Van Buren Avenue to life with running visuals on the store front not seen in the Valley.

Van Buren is street art, not fine art Garcia said.

“We try to do something every Friday during the Art Night,” Garcia said.

Mario Godinez is the Art Night feature artist on Van Buren.

There is no charge to attend the Block Party.

“There is going to be a lot of things for people to do,” Avalos said. “There will be a reason for people to stay and stand around enjoying art.”