Once a month, Gallery Hop gives students a way to mix up a Saturday night

By Anna-Maria Thalassinos

A medley of voices, laughter and music fill the ears of the people who brush past one another, walking in and out of stores, galleries and restaurants. In the art exhibits, viewers drift from one piece to another, awed by the unique works.

Such a cosmopolitan scene might be the backdrop for a New York City street, but this urban setting can be found at the Short North Gallery Hop, which occurs on the first Saturday of each month. The Hop offers a unique, creative experience for students looking for something to mix up their weekend plans.

With its bustling atmosphere and artistic vibe, sophomore Kathy Wu said she appreciates this city “hot spot.”

“I think that the Gallery Hop is one of the places in Columbus where people can get close to an atmosphere [similar] to New York City or Chicago,” Wu said.

Fascinated by the atmosphere and creative element, sophomore Arat Infante finds Gallery Hop to be of great value to him artistically.

“I love seeing new things. [I’m inspired] to make them,” he said.

Although Gallery Hop is primarily for viewing the art galleries and atmosphere, many UA students take advantage of the social aspect of Gallery Hop rather than the artistic element. Senior Meredith Ginn considers Gallery Hop a wonderful vibe in Columbus.

“It makes that part of town much more lively, even more so that it usually is,” Ginn said, noting that students typically amble down the streets of the Short North and tend to avoid the galleries. “[Gallery Hop is] mostly just walking around taking in the music, and people watching.”

Appreciative of the “hustle and bustle” while shopping, sophomore Becky Tang said she has been to Gallery Hop three times. She enjoys the unique nature of the smaller shops’ merchandise.

“My favorite thing to do is look through all the boutiques, especially the ones with the vintage jewelry,” Tang said. “It’s stuff that you don’t find anywhere else, and it’s reasonably priced too.”

Infante likes the environment of Gallery Hop and has attended three times as well.

“[My favorite part is] checking out all the places and getting maybe a bite to eat in between,” Infante said.

Attending The Hop is a way to step outside and witness the lifestyles of people throughout Columbus.

“It’s definitely a good place for students to go on a Saturday evening because they experience the different cultures within Columbus,” Wu said.

Junior Elaine Cloern is a longtime fan of The Hop.

“I went a lot when I was young with my mom,” Cloern said. “She really got me into it, so we go whenever we think of it.”

Rather than go hang out at a friend’s house or to a movie, Cloern said Gallery Hop can be a new and exciting way to spend the evening with friends on a Saturday.

Ginn thinks that The Hop is a terrific place for students to hang out especially if they can drive themselves but also thinks that students need to be careful when walking downtown.

“You just have to be cautious where you are going,” Ginn said. “You can end up in a sketchy place real quick.”

A popular stop for students during Gallery Hop is the famous ice-cream parlor, Jeni’s. Filled with a variety of flavors from Salty Caramel to Brambleberry Crisp, Jeni’s ice-cream is a common favorite for students while in the Short North.

Gallery Hop packs Jeni’s with customers. On a Saturday night, “Jeni’s line is always out the door,” Cloern said.

Whether it’s for the art or for the atmosphere, Cloern feels Gallery Hop is a popular destination for students.

“I think that if you were to go with a group of good friends, it’s really fun and something different to do.”