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Arts on the Avenue to draw people to downtown Hammond

Felix Maldonado spray paints a mural on the EAT building in Hammond during a past Arts on the Avenue, which returns to downtown Hammond on Saturday.

Arts on the Avenue is going to take over downtown Hammond again this weekend.

The third annual arts festival will take place from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday at Hohman and Sibley Boulevard. Visitors to the free event can buy art to take home, check out exhibits at downtown galleries or watch artists at work.

"Attend an event that is a feast for all of your senses: visual, sensory, culinary, celebration of the arts!" organizer Karen Maravilla with the Downtown Hammond Council said in a news release.

A live art demonstration will take place on the wall of the EAT restaurant, featuring the work of prominent local artists like Ruben Aguirre, Mario Zore Gonzalez, Tyrue Slang Jones, Felix "Flex" Maldonado, Ish Muhammad Nieves and Justus Gillette Roe. Hammond artist Wayne Thomas Abell of Trickster Studios also will create sidewalk art "live" with chalk.

Live music includes performances by the Chad Clifford of the Crawpuppies, The unPROFESSIONALS, the Old Skool Band and B.B. King's daughter, Shirley King, who will do a meet and greet from 4 to 4:30 p.m. before taking the stage at 5 p.m.

Visitors can enjoy a beer and wine garden, a car show, rock painting, a coloring contest, an architectural tour of the cathedral-like St. Joseph's Church from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., and an opportunity to splash paint on a canvas as part of the "Paint a Pollock!" splatterfest, which costs $1 for kids 16 and younger and $2 for adults.

"Show your artistic side, even if you think you didn’t have one," Maravilla said. "Paint a Pollock is our tribute to the great American master painter Jackson Pollock. Everyone who wants to paint will add their own splashes of paint to the canvas. Let your heart tell you what color to use and where to add it. Be wild and let your creativity run free."

Vendors will be selling arts, artisan goods, vintage items and T-shirts. Food vendors include Hammond's own Dairy Belle ice cream stand.

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Business Reporter

Joseph S. Pete is a Lisagor Award-winning business reporter who covers steel, industry, unions, the ports, retail, banking and more. The Indiana University grad has been with The Times since 2013 and blogs about craft beer, culture and the military.