White Street Walk

AN INSIDE LOOK

Step into art studios, homes at White Street Walk


OVER 50 YEARS

Eureka Springs is well-known for its Victorian homes and the many working artists who live there. At the 29th annual White Street Walk from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. Friday, May 17, you'll have the opportunity to see what's being their doors.

Local artist Zeek Taylor recalled when White Street Walk began 29 years ago, saying he worked with two of his neighbors to put the event together. They figured there were enough artists living on the street to keep everyone entertained, Taylor said. The first year the event took place, he said, it was scheduled from only 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

"We were so worried that first year. I kept looking out the window thinking, 'No one is going to come. No one is going to come,' " Taylor remembered. "Then all of a sudden there were lots of people. We realized 7 to 9 wasn't long enough because of the huge number of people that showed up."

Over the years, Taylor said, he has visited with thousands and thousands of people in his home during White Street Walk.

"It's a little bit surreal. Most of the time I'm home alone or with the cats watching TV," Taylor said, "and then on one night in May, I've got hundreds, sometimes thousands, of people coming through my house."

He's grateful to everyone who stops by during the event, Taylor said, and has never had a bad experience hosting people.

"I've never had anything happen to my belongings. Everyone has been so conscious of being in a home," Taylor said. "They seemed glad to be here, and I'm happy to host them."

Because of White Street Walk, Taylor said, he's made new friends every year.

"I'll be in cities like Little Rock or Tulsa, and people will come up to me and say, 'I know you. I've been in your home,' " Taylor said. "It's really surreal to think about the thousands and thousands of people that have been in my house. It's fun. I like it. I enjoy hosting and having that party once a year."


White Street Walk started out as a neighborhood event, Taylor said. Back then, White Street wasn't as well-known as it is today.


"It has grown beyond my wildest dreams. It is one of the most popular events in Eureka Springs," Taylor said. "Now everyone knows White Street. It has become a destination."


You don't have to own a home on White Street to participate in the event, Taylor said. Many artists work together to show off their pieces, either inside homes or outside on the street.


"Different locations will host other artists. I always host at least three artists on my property, which adds to the party," Taylor said. "It gives everyone a chance to showcase what they've been working on. Artists in Eureka Springs work through the winter just for White Street Walk."

There's always something new at the event, Taylor said, but certain artists have been showcasing their work since White Street Walk began.


"We'll feature some new up-and-coming artists," Taylor said. "A lot of the people that come have been showing their work for 29 years, and people that come to the walk expect and look forward to seeing them again. It's a nice combination of the old and the new, with new artists being introduced every year."


White Street Walk is the best time to see locally made art outside of the gallery setting, Taylor said, and to visit a part of town most visitors usually don't get the chance to see.


"You get to go inside places like my home that are not open to the public any other time of the year," Taylor said. "It's sort of like you see the secret of Eureka. It's a chance to see what's in those homes."

Parking fills up pretty quickly during the event, Taylor said, but the trolleys run until 7 p.m.


"If you come early, there's that option," he said. He encouraged everyone to come to White Street Walk, saying he loves visiting with new and old friends.

"I welcome everyone to come in.
Come into our neighborhood, come into our homes and visit us."
- Zeek Taylor