Downtown will get a nine-day head start on Valentine's Day when the Feb. 5 edition of First Wednesday Art Walk has the theme "Art is for Lovers."
At Art Walk headquarters near Hemming Plaza, couples with a marriage license can be legally married at Art Walk or have their vows renewed and all may participate in commitment ceremonies from 6-9 p.m. in the Chapel of Love.
All ceremonies are free and performed by ordained minister and Folio Weekly contributor Kerry Speckman. Time slots can be reserved by contacting Liz Grebe at Liz@downtownjacksonville.org.
Art Works for Freedom founder Kay Chemush will be at Hemming Plaza to educate visitors about the fight against human trafficking. Also, visitors can meet representatives from the Delores Barr Weaver Policy Center and author Sarah Symons.
Laura Street from Monroe to Duval streets will be closed from 4-9:30 p.m. for Art Walk. Laura Street from Monroe to Adams Street will be closed from 5-9:30 p.m. The intersection at Monroe and Laura streets will be open.
Away from Hemming Plaza:
• Grease Rags Clothing Co. along West Monroe near Hemming Plaza will be showing a variety of art including Germ Spider Designs "horror art" by Jeremy Spicer and polymer art and jewelry by Sarah Hoffer. Lucky Von Lu from Professor Whiskey's Traveling Bizarre Bazaar will be selling cupcakes.
• The second annual Atomic Sketch at Art Walk shows artists who paint, color, sketch and draw on site. Pieces are sold from $5-$50 and a portion of the proceeds benefit AIGA's Discover Design, a high school mentorship program. Venues include The Art Center Cooperative, CoWork Jax, Daniel James Salon, Hemming Plaza Jewelers, the Landing, juice – a Unity Plaza gallery, Mark's Downtown Club & Lounge, Midtown Deli + Café, Olio, Pho. A Noodle Bar, Visit Jacksonville and The Volstead.
• "The Looking Lab: Art in Empty Storefronts" is a new pop-up storefront along East Bay Street near Ocean Street. The art installation is by David Montgomery and Crystal Floyd.
• The Volstead, Downtown's newest whiskey lounge along West Adams Street near the W.A. Knight Lofts, will be open until 2 a.m.
• Watercolors by Christopher Flagg will be exhibited at his new gallery space at the Landing near Sundrez.
Art Walk is from 5-9 p.m., rain or shine. For more details, visit iloveartwalk.com.