The historic business distict in Kingman, Arizona is experiencing a
rather dramatic renaissance. Wine bars, microbreweries, and eclectic restaurants with sidewalk seating, delightful and fun events such as Chillin’ on Beale and First Friday that add an infectious sense of vibrancy are transforming the once moribund area into a destination. Bounded by Route 66 that courses through Kingman as Andy Devine Avenue, most every evening you will find locals, and visitors from throughout the world mingling on the streets at the breweries. A key component to the districts revival is a passionate arts community that is supporting galleries, a performing arts center, renovation of the historic theater, and the Kingman Art Hub where diverse artistic styles created by international artists in resident is on display.
The Kingman Center for the Arts, on Beale Street, features a monthly display of work from local and area artists, and often hosts a photography exhibition. The gallery, and Kingman Art Hub, are often focal points for the First Friday activities. And if you are a mere novice that has always wanted to develop your artistic talents, both facilities offer an array of classes.
Another example of how Kingman is embracing the arts community is found at the offices at the Kingman Area Chamber of Commerce where they are displaying the work of area artists. This month they are using the offices as a gallery to display work that is affiliated with the PSA Art Awakenings program. During the Adventurers Club program of August 31 (above) the director of the Kingman Art Hub and the President of the Kingman Area Chamber of Commerce discuss future partnerships including a Christmas arts project, art classes, artists in residence, and other art community initiatives.
For the landscape artist the Kingman area is ripe with opportunity. Here is a suggestion, make it a weekend. Grab your artistry supplies at Tumbleweeds & Tarantulas, and head east from Kingman along Route 66 to Grand Canyon Caverns, a weekend getaway destination with countless opportunities for the inspiration of artistic ideas. Efren Lopez, a combat trained photographer that is building a reputation for his Route 66 photography, is in discussion to open a photography workshop at the caverns. Several local arts groups in Kingman also make the caverns an artists retreat.
With a renovated motel, an excellent restaurant above and below grand, and a location where wildlife abounds, the caverns is an ideal getaway. As a bonus the temperatures are often 10 to 20 degrees cooler than river communities, and the caverns themselves are a consistent 60 degrees year round.
Close out the year with a simple goal, to embrace the inner artist and use your talents to enhance the arts community in Kingman.
Written by Jim Hinckley of Jim Hinckley’s America