Art in the Park Returns for its 56th Year: A Historic Tradition

Published Monday, May 21, 2018 at 2:06 pm

The first Art in the Park is coming up this Saturday

By Savannah Watts

Celebrate 56 years of Art in the Park with its return for the summer this Saturday, May 26 in downtown Blowing Rock. This showcase, hosted by the Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce, features local and regional artisans and was originally started in 1962 by a handful of artists. Art in the Park has since grown to encompass nearly one hundred artists from the area working in a variety of mediums.

This year, Art in the Park has sold out every artist booth totaling 97 artists each show. Artists from all over the region bring their treasures that celebrate our mountain’s eclectic, rustic atmosphere and complement the historic roots of Art in the Park. Past showcases have featured jewelry, pottery, photography, painting, and much more that represents each artist and their experiences in their work.

Art in the Park brings thousands of visitors to Blowing Rock through the appeal of authentic Appalachian artistry. Loni Miller, Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce’s Director of Membership & Art in the Park, says “We are proud to continue to support people who are using their hands.” Each artist brings authentic pieces that are 100% hand-crafted. This “world-class” art not only showcases artists, but continues to bring people together over the past 56 years to celebrate the tradition and craft of handmade, unique pieces.

Roughly two-thirds of the 97 artists at each show this year are returning artists who have been showcased before. Art in the Park’s intimate setting lends for conversations and friendships to be made, appealing to the desire to return to the show each year, or even each month. The showcase will return to Park Avenue for the third year in a row, connecting directly to Main Street. Miller says, “This design allows visitors to continue shopping and supporting local businesses, another medium we are proud to support.”

Although there will not be any featured artists at this year, each show awards artists for their work. At noon, the Chamber of Commerce presents four artists with awards: first place, second place, and two honorable mentions. These awards will be displayed with ribbons at each winning artist’s booth.

Art in the Park takes place on Park Avenue in Downtown Blowing Rock. From 10AM to 5PM, artists fill the street with their treasures for people to browse their collections. Parking is available along the main streets, as well as the parking deck on Wallingford St. or by the Blowing Rock Art History Museum. Shuttles also run to and from the Tanger Outlets on Highway 321 looping approximately every 30 minutes.

Spending the weekend in the High Country? In tandem with Art in the Park, be sure to check out Music on the Lawn Friday night and Concerts in the Park Saturday afternoon. This Sunday’s concert will feature sounds of the blues by the King Bees.

Art in the Park will be held this summer on June 16, July 14, August 11, September 8, and October 6.


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