For the 300 artists at Western Avenue Studios, the show will go on despite a raging pandemic and government mandates on large gatherings. And this is welcome news to an antsy populace starving for civility and culture.
The 7th Annual ArtoberFest will indeed be held this year — in fact, this weekend, Oct. 3-4, from noon to 4 p.m. — in the parking area of the old mill building, weather permitting. It is, as always, free to attend.
Beyond the plethora of visual pleasures, visitors will have all senses stimulated as live music will fill the air and gourmet food trucks will tempt the palate. Fine art, culinary art and performance art in a single stop.
Each day’s exhibition will feature 30 or so of the working artists’ pieces on display and for sale.
Under normal circumstances, the entire building would be open for the festival, allowing visitors to peruse the hallways and meet the artists.
But normal is an abstract memory, so organizers opted to improvise.
“Because the show is outside, we have to limit the number of spots available for the artists to display their work,” said Henry Marte, marketing director for Western Avenue Studios. “There is only so much room in the lot. Plus, many artists’ pieces are too elaborate for moving around or even sensitive to weather.”
Limitations aside, this year’s festival will feature a wide palette of genres, mediums, themes and materials. Among the artists in the house, although not necessarily part of the festival, are painters, potters, sculptors, photographers, woodworkers, glaziers, candle-makers, soap-makers, jewelers, art teachers, mixed-media artists, and countless niches and specialties, including quilters, garment-makers and graphic designers.
Local pianist Paul Carlson will perform Saturday afternoon, while Sunday’s backdrop of sound will be provided by guitarist Dave Greenwood.
Also available is hand-crafted beer from the adjacent Navigation Brewing, which opens Saturday at 4 p.m., and at noon Sunday.
To find out more information about the 2020 Artoberfest at Western Avenue Studios, visit https://westernavenuestudios.com/artoberfest-outdoor-art-market.