It's the season to take in Art Hop

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There's nothing like spending a warm spring or summer evening visiting downtown merchants, viewing art, meeting authors and listening to live music.

The Historic Monument Merchants Association is once again inviting the community out for their annual Art Hop. Participating merchants keep their doors open until 8:00 p.m. that evening. Art Hop takes place every third Thursday of the month beginning in May and ending in September. The first Art Hop of the 2013 season will begin May 16.

Tom Wisdom, organizer of this year's Art Hop and owner of Wisdom Tea House, said there are 14 participants this year and the event usually draws in about 300 people.

Participating this year will be The Village Merchants, Hangars, Bella Casa, Santa Fe Trail Jewelry, Paisley Chest, Shades of Amber, Covered Treasures Bookstore and Crafty Laine, Margo's on the Alley, Wisdom Tea House, La Casa Fiesta, The Love Shop, Keepsakes Unlimited Antiques & Collectibles and Frog on a Limb Primitives.

Participating merchants already have the May 16 Art Hop planned. At The Village Merchants employees will be dressed in the spirit of “Downtown Abbey” while they share the story of Crawley family in post-Edwardian era. Wine and appetizers will be served. At Shades of Amber there will be a furniture painting demonstration with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint and will serve Italian Soda. Wisdom Tea House will serve tea, desserts and gelato with artists Jennifer Hickman and Shelley Olivier showcasing their exhibit “Color and Light.”

There will be many more artists at different merchants and Hangars will be making glass mushrooms with vases and bowls for gardens. A complete list of what each merchant is doing can be found at www.monumentarthop.org. HMMA has been sponsoring Art Hop for nearly a decade.

“It's been successful the way it is and we're continuing in that tradition,” Wisdom said.

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