El Verano artist Jill Valavanis is pleased with the feedback she got from last weekend’s pop-up art walk in Boyes Hot Springs. The project, the first of its kind, came about thanks to a Pop Up Creativity Grant from Creative Sonoma.

Valavanis got the idea to do some sort of outdoor participatory art event when the sidewalks were finally completed through the Springs.

Valavanis set up a series of tents along Highway 12 on Saturday and hosted what she described as a progressive art-making experience.

“I’ve always liked progressive dinners and I wondered if I could develop an art-making event where people could walk from station to station,” she said. “Then I thought, “What if the resulting art could have a positive impact?”

Sixty or so participants were guided by Valavanis and her team of teaching artists in decorating an envelope, then walk a few minutes to the next station where they will create a card. Another short walk and they’re beside the Boyes Hot Springs post office.

Participants could choose their card recipient – people affected by natural disasters, military personnel, seniors who are struggling, hardship sufferers or cancer patients.

“We felt like it went really well, despite the fact that it was kind of a hard idea to explain to people, and despite the heat on Saturday,” said Valavanis. “We got great, positive feedback from everyone. I would love to do it again.”

Valavanis said that she has already heard from other communities who rre interested in replicating her idea.

More information about the project can be found at loveletterartwalk.weebly.com.