41st Annual Westport Fine Arts Festival
It’s not just for curators and connoisseurs – five reasons why you should get artsy this July!
'A Day at the Beach', a Randi Jane Davis painting
Art shows, festivals, and galleries can often seem intimidating for those of us who would rather spend a nice, lazy day at the beach – not unlike the subjects of painter Randi Jane Davis’ Sherwood Island piece featured above. However, Westport’s Fine Arts Festival will be taking over Parker Harding Plaza and Gorham Island on Saturday, July 19 and Sunday, July 20. Brought to you by the Westport Downtown Merchants Association (WDMA), the Festival is a highly anticipated one that celebrates local artists and the cultural mecca Westport has become over the years. WDMA’s Director of Marketing and Communications, Lee De Monico, shared five reasons why you should attend this rain or shine event – art connoisseur or not.
1.) Come celebrate 41 years of culture in Westport!
“Westport enjoys a celebrated history as an artist community,” De Monico said. “The Fine Arts Festival reinforces Westport’s well-deserved reputation as a community committed to the arts and the WDMA as an organization dedicated to respecting the past but keeping with the times.”
2.) It’s not all on canvas – but what is is fabulous.
“The popularity of the show and positive artist reviews have attracted more artists, and this year, there were a record number of applications. This keeps the quality of the art high, allows the organizers to offer art at every price point, and also ensures a mix in each media category,” De Monico explained. Various new categories were recently added to the Festival, including Glass, Ceramics, Fiber, Jewelry, Wood, and Digital Art. According to De Monico, almost 30% of the artists are first time exhibitors at the Festival, like Davis.
“I am very excited to participate,” Davis said. “2014 is a big year for me and my art. My beach scenes are from Sherwood Island. I just love the beautiful beach and the chemistry of the people that visit there.”
3.) Eat and drink!
“There are multiple refreshment options at the event,” De Monico said. “Visitors can grab a quick hot dog and lemonade or sit down and enjoy a lunch from one of the local restaurants that set up on location.” Also, the Festival now has permission to serve wine and beer – need we say more?
4.) Be merry!
This event is free to attend and family friendly. “There are live bands, solo acts, performance artists, balloon magicians, face painters,” said De Monico. “The art continues to take center stage – but there is something for the whole family to enjoy. Afterwards, visitors can walk across the Post Road (and enjoy the gardens at the foot of the “Flag” Bridge – also courtesy of the WDMA) and visit the Westport Library’s Summer Book Sale.”
5.) It’s not impossible to update (or start!) your own art collection.
“Festival art is accessible to every budget,” De Monico explained. “There are very expensive oils and jewelry, but also prints and other works that even a student could afford – and everything in between, in every category.