2011-11-10 / Front Page

Weekend’s ArtFest 2011 was most successful event yet for growing local arts foundation

ArtFest 2011 gave budding artists opportunities to express themselves in several different art media. ArtFest 2011 gave budding artists opportunities to express themselves in several different art media. Saturday and Sunday’s ArtFest 2011 was the biggest and best yet, said organizer Debbie Wells. “It was just fabulous. We had the most participating artists we’ve ever had, and they love coming to show in Washington.”

Winners in the juried art show included both local and out-of-town artists. “First place was taken by metal artists Alex Stoll, who works in stainless steel, and copper artist Timothy Martin, both from Ohio,” Wells said. Washington artist Michael Bailey took second place with his classic portraits, and Wilkes County’s Betty Dyson took third place with her handmade longleaf pine-needle baskets.

Judging was done by a team of out-of-town art experts.

In addition to the exhibition and sale of artwork, traffic was heavy at the children’s art workshop Saturday where children could choose to work on projects at numerous different art work stations. “We had wonderful participation for the children’s workshop,” Wells said. “It took the work of lots of people coming together to make this happen.

Art spilled over into downtown storefronts, with Washington-Wil- kes student art displayed in a corner window, and the art of Larry Wheeler and Jamie Calkin on display in The Fitzpatrick Hotel. Calkin’s original paintings of classic Washington buildings will soon be gracing the hotel’s redecorated rooms, owner Christy Todd said.

The Washington- Wilkes Arts Foundation hosted a gala honoring the participating artists and members of the Foundation at the home of Maggie and Phil Rothman on Saturday evening. “We made good membership gains for the Washington-Wilkes Arts Foundation this weekend,” Wells said.

Several artists said that by Sunday afternoon, they’d had good sales of their artwork. Washington’s Jenny Clarke, who displayed her vintageinspired jewelry, said, “The crowd was steady and I sold more than half of my inventory of jewelry. I’ll definitely do it again next year.”

The artists who make the ArtFest a success each year deserve special recognition, Wells said. “Not only is this a great benefit to the community, this is a special show to honor artists. We don’t offer as much traffic as large cities, but the artists love coming here.”

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