The West Hartford Art League is hosting its first ever fine arts festival on the grounds of the nonprofit organization on Sept. 25 and 26.
Roxanne Stachelek, the executive director of the art league, said she hopes it provides local artists a chance to promote and sell their works.
“It’s an event that really speaks to our mission, which is art and education and showcasing artists, which is why we decided to do this,” Stachelek said. “It’s new and it will hopefully become an annual event.”
Due to the pandemic, many types of fairs and festivals where artists might decide to exhibit their works have been canceled. That includes the annual West Hartford Celebrates the town puts on.
“We thought this might be a good year to start this,” Stachelek said.
They have 31 artists who will be set up outside on the grounds of the art league, located at 37 Buena Vist Road. They will also have food trucks on site, a kids activity station and live music, all intended to keep people there longer.
“We’re going to use up the whole property,” Stachelek said.
Visitors should expect more art and less crafts when they attend the event, which runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days, rain or shine.
“We have paintings, photography, mixed media, pottery and ceramics,” Stachelek said. “It’s all about fine art. All the work is for sale and people are trying to showcase and sell their work.”
Stachelek said the nonprofit intended this event to be a way for artists to recoup profits that may have been missed out on over the pandemic. In order to help, their application fee was smaller than other similar festivals, Stachelek said, and the league won’t be taking any commission from sales.
“We wanted to give artists a way to showcase their work because it’s been so hard for artists these last couple of years to try and make a living,” Stachelek said. “I think it’s a big deal for them. Everything they sell is their money. It’s a great opportunity and another reason why we wanted to do it.”
Those who visit the grounds that day will also be able to head inside and check out the nonprofit’s annual CT+6 exhibit. The annual exhibit is the art league’s largest juried exhibit of the year, as it’s open to artists in Connecticut, the rest of New England and New York.
“It’s our biggest juried show of the year and it’s a showcase for artists,” she said. “We’re glad to be able to offer it again this year. It’s been a tough two years. So we hope that when people come to the fine arts festival, they also come inside the galleries.”
Stachelek said she’s looking forward to seeing families and art enthusiasts come out that weekend and celebrate local artists.
“As an arts organization, if we’re going to be doing any kind of event, this is the kind of event we really should be doing,” Stachelek said. “We’re trying to make it a full day and weekend for people to see art. There will be a lot going on.”