The Cynthiana Art Walk is itself, a piece of art. It began with an idea, infused with passion and many hard-working people. It happened because people believed it could and in turn, those people convinced business owners, musicians, corporations, local leaders, artists and visitors. Cynthiana residents are fortunate to have a downtown filled with law offices, dental practices, restaurants, retail shops, museum, theatre and gym. Sure, we need more, but we must remember to support what we have.
In a nation filled with outlet malls, superstores, and one-stop shops there are the abandoned downtowns that once supplied the public with specialty stores and businesses. Guess what? They haven’t left us—we’ve left them. As I was walking out of Whalen Jeweler’s on Saturday afternoon I held the door open for a woman coming into the shop. She announced, “I haven’t been downtown in ten years!”
I heard others say, “I didn’t know we had a clothing store” or “I have never been in this shop before!”
Fred Caudill at First Mortgage told me that he talked to one Art Walk visitor Friday evening who told him he didn’t know about First Mortgage until that evening. The man continued to tell Fred that he had met several road blocks with getting a loan. He made an appointment with Fred for Monday morning.
The Art Walk committee has spent the last year preparing for this past weekend. The event poster established for the 2010 art walk displayed the dandelion, just as the inaugural poster had in 2009. Dandelions decorated the town throughout the month of July and the spirit of the Art Walk was alive well before the event even arrived.
It wasn’t until the day after the last sign had been taken down and carefully stored that I really thought about what the dandelion symbolized. So, I did a little digging and thought I would share this with you.
The dandelion, commonly considered a weed and a nuisance, is actually a vegetable used sometimes for medicinal and culinary purposes. While as children we enjoyed blowing the dandelion snow of the dried caps into the summer air, we grew older and had to spray the annoying little things from our sidewalks and yards. It is actually a good companion plant for gardening as it protects the grass from certain worms and its roots cultivate the soil as they reach deep into the earth.
But one detail I read, in particular, spoke to me. A horticulturist described the dandelion as “a plant for which we once knew the use of but we’ve forgotten.”
I think it is so appropriate the dandelion is used as the logo for the Cynthiana Art Walk. Over time, we have forgotten how to use our downtown, much like we have the dandelion. Let the Art Walk serve as a reminder. Don’t wait until the next Art Walk to support downtown Cynthiana.