Every year, in downtown Blowing Rock, a wonderfully artistic event hits the High Country thanks to the Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce and all participating artists. This event is the Art in the Park that takes place on one Saturday a month from now through October. It showcases local and regional talents and crafts including, but not limited to, jewelry, woodwork, painting and other artistic skills.
The second Saturday of the 55th Annual Art in the Park season takes place on June 10 in downtown Blowing Rock from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free for everyone!
Art in the Park began in 1962, when local artists from Appalachian would sell their crafts to tourists so that they could take a piece of the mountain culture home with them. However, as it has grown, it has developed into something much larger.
“We have artists both locally and from other states all around the South East,” Loni Miller, Director of Art in the Park, said, “but we have all worked really hard to stay true to our roots.”
Every Saturday, the Art in the Park will host 90 local and regional artists in order to provide them with the recognition that they deserve, as well as, providing the community with arts and crafts of excellent quality. Everything is handmade from glass, photography, pottery and more!
“Each Art in the Park show will have a majority of new artists every month,” Miller said, “with under half of them being returning artists from previous shows.”
With this being said, everyone in attendance can expect to see different artists and different crafts every month from now until October. According to Miller, the artists who are chosen to be present at the Art in the Park are done so by a jury. The jury consists of local artists and curators who are in the top of their field.
“The jury changes every year,” Miller said. “That way we can get a different variety of artists every year.”
Along with this, there is also a featured artist present at each showing every month. The featured artist is chosen by the jury because he or she has some exceptional way that they stand out in their community. This Saturday, the featured artist is Tim Turner from Linville, whose artistic skills manifest themselves in clay.
At every show, there are first, second and third place awards given out — Best in Show, Distinction and Honorable Mention, respectively.
“The judges, who are different for every show, choose the one artist to receive the first place prize which is Best in Show,” Miller said. “The prize for this award is $200.”
The featured artist for this Saturday’s Art in the Park is Courtney Tomchik, whose speciality lies in sculpture, an area of art that needs practiced talent and skill. To view Tomchik’s incredible and unique work, visit her website.
The dates of the Art in the Park are as follows:
-Saturday, June 10, featured artist: Courtney Tomchik, Sculpture
-Saturday. July 15, featured artist: Joanna White, Fiber
-Saturday, August 12, featured artist: Julie Simon, Jewelry
-Saturday, September 9, featured artist: Andy Costine, Wood
-Saturday, October 7, featured artist: Kue King, Metal
The shows take place on Park Avenue in downtown Blowing Rock, a quaint and beautiful area that is perfect for artistic showcasing.
“We are so excited to be on Park Avenue again this year,” Miller said. “It’s the best fine arts and craft show in the area.”
According to Miller, Art in the Park taking place on Park Avenue is incredibly convenient for those in attendance. They can park in the parking deck and then stroll down main street and enjoy all of Blowing Rock’s restaurants and shops.
Art in the Park will take place rain or shine. Whether it’s a beautiful day or a day full of clouds and rain, the artists will still be providing the public with their crafts, and you should come out and pay them a visit. For more information, visit the Art in the Park website.
Don’t forget! The Sunday after the Art in the Park is the Blowing Rock Concert in the Park in Memorial Park. Each of these concerts is a beautiful, Sunday concert beginning at 4 p.m. Bring a lawn chair or a blanket, sit back and enjoy the live entertainment.
The band playing at this upcoming Blowing Rock Concert in the Park on Sunday, June 11, is Rastacoustic. Made up by two talented musicians, Peter Brown and Justin Butler, Rastacoustic performs songs that range from Appalachian Reggae to classic Appalachian folk music. Their performances will root you not only in the Blue Ridge right here at home, but they will have you kickin’ back on the sands of Jamaica!
For more information on the Blowing Rock Concerts in the Park, visit the website.