July/August 2023 Save the date for the annual 4th Street Art Festival this coming Labor Day weekend and be sure to check out Carmel resident and artist Taylor Walker’s exceptional work at this beloved festival held in Bloomington! The 4th Street Art Festival will be held on September 2-3 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday. The festival is celebrating its 47th year and is one of Bloomington’s most well-attended events on its arts and culture calendar. The festival will be held on 4th Street between Grant Street and Indiana Avenue. An Exceptional Collection of Art, Businesses and Stories The artists that will be featured at the festival are from various Indiana communities. New to the festival are four artists, including Taylor Walker of Carmel. Walker is an expressionist painter and illustrator who is passionate about animals and focuses on them in her work. Her goal is to blend technical ability and photorealism with exaggerated rainbow colors and strokes to create emotion. Also featuring their work at this year’s festival are Kelly Meska of Bloomington, Heidi Mandich of Indianapolis and Samual Dean of Whitehall. Although each artist has their own genre and techniques, they all share a passion for creating art and making things, as well as a love for detail and teaching. In addition, all are committed to experimenting, continually learning and perfecting their art, and all are well tuned into the business aspects of making a living with their art. There are 100-plus artists in 2D, ceramics, fiber, glass, jewelry, painting, photography, sculpture and wood who will line 4th Street over Labor Day weekend, eager to talk with patrons about their work, inspiration and techniques. Whether for a couple of hours or the entire weekend, art lovers are encouraged to soak in the beauty of the designs and artisanship and to connect with the stories of the people who create them. Creating Emotion Through Rainbow Colors Perhaps you have seen Taylor Walker’s work sold and/or displayed in All Things Carmel at Indiana Artisan Gifts and Gallery or at CCA Gallery & Gifts in Carmel’s Art & Design District. Walker is a self-taught artist specializing in watercolor, acrylic, encaustic painting (hot wax painting) and colored pencil. She graduated from Purdue University with a BFA in Graphic Design but in 2020 took the plunge and decided to follow her lifelong passion of being a full-time artist. Walker resides in Carmel with her husband, Bryan. Walker was recognized in 2021 as an Indiana Artisan for watercolor and serves on the committees of the Talbot Street Art Fair and 4th Street Art Festival. Walker will also be exhibiting for the first time at the annually held Carmel International Arts Festival this September. As an artist, Walker is an expressionist. She uses exaggerated color and brush strokes to create emotional effects. She’s inspired by nature, color and animals and most often paints with bright, intense color and paint splatter. Taylor’s passion for animals is exhibited in her participation in annual fundraising events that support the Indianapolis Zoo, Indy Humane, the Hamilton County Humane Society, the Exotic Feline Rescue Center and the Langley Animal Protection Society. Walker shared some of her thoughts about exhibiting at festivals as well as her unique style of painting. “I got pulled onto the scene really quickly,” Walker said. “Prior to that, I was doing a lot of commission work, and then I made the switch last year when I realized that I wanted to do my own curated collections.” When asked why it’s important for artists and community members to support art festivals, Walker replied, “We’re all Indiana artists, and by supporting these festivals, you’re supporting local artists. We especially need that in the Midwest, as we’re trying to get more on the art scene. I feel like we especially need that in Indiana.” While describing her artistic style, Walker explained, “I consider myself an expressionist painter. I exaggerate color and brush strokes. I have a recoloring process — that’s what I call it. I’m not attracted to neutral colors, and I don’t like to paint that way. I do like photorealism. I like the challenge of making something like the actual object. I love animals and color, so I combine all of those into the style that I do. My work is very colorful but is not childish because it is so photorealistic and technically correct. I want color to be an afterthought.” Walker added, “In my recoloring system, purple is black, blue is a lighter shadow and green is neutral. Yellow is the brightest highlight besides the white of the paper, orange is a mid-tone and red is a dark highlight. When I look at a leopard, those black spots equate to purple in my mind. My animals look so realistic because I do follow a consistent recoloring system and all the colors are basically assigned to certain parts of the animal.” You can follow Walker on Facebook and Instagram @tayloredillustration and see her work on her website at tayloredillustration.com. Be sure to save the dates and join fellow arts festival enthusiasts for the 47th running of the 4th Street Art Festival! For more on the annual 4th Street Art Festival, visit 4thstreet.org.