Spotlight July/August - Artisans in the Park Art Show

Art Wide Open

Experience outdoor imagination at August's Artisans in the Park event.

By Tara Chauhan

Pictured: Glass Blown Jellyfish by Brian Meinertzhagen.

Families looking for a more colorful way to spend time outside this summer will find plenty of creativity at Virginia Beach’s Great Neck Park this August.

Artisans in the Park, the 36th annual Virginia Beach Parks and Recreation Arts and Craft Festival, will be held Aug. 6–7. It will feature more than 75 artisans from across the country spread out across the park’s 70 acres of trees and winding paths.

Event coordinator Caroline Ansel says that a wide variety of mediums will be represented—clay, fiber, glass, graphics, jewelry, metal, photography and wood works will be on display and for sale, with the artists on site to meet with the customers. Live demonstrations from a glass artist, a wood turner and a potter will be given to showcase just how  much care, skill and dedication goes into making the pieces.

The festival will also include activities for the kids on Saturday, including face painting, live music, Clay Play for kids and a story time with local children’s author Kelly Garcia, who will be taking part in the  festival for the first time.

“I was asked to be a part of the festival, and I jumped at the chance,” says Garcia. “It’s exciting to be a part of an event that makes art accessible to the whole family.” Garcia is the author of Takako and the Great Typhoon. Set in Okinawa, Japan, the book tells about the adventures of a shisa (a lion-dog) named Takako, who must save her brother and village from a devastating typhoon. In addition to story time, Garcia will be signing and selling her book, as well as leading crafting activities that are inspired by her book.

“I’m really looking forward to interacting with the kids and to exposing them to diverse cultures through story,” Garcia says.

Artisans in the Park will be held on Saturday, Aug. 6 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday, Aug. 7 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Great Neck Park, 2513 Shorehaven Dr. in Virginia Beach. Admission and parking are free, and there will be a shuttle bus to take people to and from the parking lots.

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