Art in the Park goes golden

Article Published: May. 10, 2012 | Modified: May. 10, 2012
Art in the Park goes golden

The Blowing Rock Chamber’s 50th anniversary season of Art in the Park kicks off this Saturday next to the American Legion Hall on Wallingford Street.

Photo by Jeff Eason

This coming weekend kicks off the 50th anniversary for Art in the Park, an outdoor fine art and craft show in downtown Blowing Rock.

Art in the Park has a history dating from 1962, when artists living in and around the village would come to the town’s park to display and sell some of their paintings or other pieces.

Art in the Park attracts artists from all over the Eastern United States. This award-winning series features the works of 90 juried artisans in metal, fiber, watercolor and oil painting, wood, photography, basketry, jewelry, clay, glass and more.

“I’m really looking forward to the first show on May 12,” Art in the Park coordinator Terri Bailey said.

“May means the crowds are generally smaller, and shopping is a little more relaxed, but you can spend more time with each artist. We have several of last year’s award-winners returning. This is going to be an exciting year, not only because it celebrates the 50th anniversary season of fabulous artisans gathering to sell their wares in Blowing Rock, but also because the arts at Appalachian will be a sponsor.”

Art in the Park always features not only a mix of media, but a mix of well-established artists and those just “breaking on the scene.”

For instance, Rob and Denise of Full Circle Woodcraft reclaim the best of materials from homes built in the 1800s and mix with the unusual to create one-of-a-kind pieces of furniture.

This May will also find favorites, such as painter Susan Crouch and jeweler Don Haywood, alongside newcomers to the show. Of course, there are many other artists, each with their own unique art and individualism. Some artists will be present at every show and others only at one or two, making every Art in the Park a new experience.

Marcus Thomas, who paints solely with his mouth after being paralyzed in a skiing accident, will be showcasing his work in the June through October shows.

To help celebrate Art in the Park’s 50th anniversary, Thomas is allowing the Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce to raffle tickets to win a signed, numbered and framed canvas print that he painted of Cone Manor.

This painting was also reproduced on the Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce’s 2012 Christmas ornament, which will be available for purchase at Art in the Park. Raffle tickets will be available at each Art in the Park throughout the season.

The chamber of commerce provides free shuttles throughout the day. Just park your car at Tanger Shoppes on the Parkway or the Food Lion shopping center on U.S. 321 bypass and hop on the shuttle, which will bring you right into downtown Blowing Rock.

The show is located at the American Legion Grounds just behind Memorial Park, and admission is free.

Show hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Dates for this year’s shows are: May 12, June 16, July 14, Aug. 11, Sept. 8 and Oct. 6. Events are held on the top level of the American Legion parking facility on Wallingford Street. Prices for objects, from a handmade postcard to a large piece of furniture, range from $5 to $5,000.

On Friday evenings before Art in the Park Saturdays, businesses on Sunset Drive (off Main Street) host Sunset Strolls from 5:30 to 8 p.m.

For more information, call the Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce at (828) 295-7851.

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