Inaugural Gloucester Arts Festival Kicks Off This Weekend

Tickets are Still Available for Weeklong Event that Showcases Acclaimed Local Pros, Celebrates Novices of All Ages, and Offers Art Enthusiasts Special Access and Unique Purchasing Opportunities.

The weeklong Gloucester Arts Festival kicks off this Saturday, May 20 and tickets are still available online for interactive events that will showcase the area's premiere artists and give people of all ages and abilities a chance to paint side-by-side with the best. Registration and tickets to the various events are conveniently available at the Gloucester Arts Festival ticket page at https://gloucester-arts-festival.ticketleap.com/.

"The excitement for the inaugural Gloucester Arts Festival has really been building over the past few weeks, and we encourage folks to go online now and get tickets for the events that have caught their eye," said Jenny Crittenden, Executive Director of the Cook Foundation, a key presenter of the festival. "We're looking forward to a great turnout at what promises to be a wonderful opportunity for our community."

Gloucester Arts Festival events commence with a weekend Plein Air Workshop taking place May 20-21 in the Arts on Main building. Running from 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM on Saturday and Sunday, this dynamic session led by award-winning artist Hai-Ou Hou will help budding artists prepare mentally and physically for painting quickly in plein air or any alla prima subject. Tickets to the Plein Air Workshop are $295.

A Nocturne Paint Out will take place Monday, May 22 from 3:30 - 7:30 PM at historic Little England, offering attendees a rare chance to paint on the grounds of one of Virginia's least altered and best preserved colonial plantation homes. Tickets to the Nocturne Paint Out are free but artist registration is requested.

On Wednesday, May 24th from 4:00 - 9:00 PM, festival goers can attend the Meet the Artists Dinner, a fun and casual welcome dinner for artists, art patrons and friends hosted at Beecreek at Sassafras, an 11-acre private residence on Gloucester's Sassafras Landing Road. Attendees can watch and learn as artists paint the creek and marshes before dinner is served. Tickets to the Meet the Artists Dinner are $35.

On Thursday, May 25th from 7:00 - 10:00 PM the Festival's curating artist Dorothy Fagan and noted plein air painter Gary Pendleton will host a book signing and slideshow entitled "Plein Air Painting is the New Golf" at the Stewart Gallery on Gloucester Main Street. Ticket and registration are not required to attend the book signing.

The festival Collector's Gala runs from 7:00 - 10:00 PM on Friday, May 26 in the Arts on Main building. Complete with heavy hors d' oeuvres and drinks, the event celebrates the creation of the Inaugural Heart of the River Collection, offering attendees a chance to view and purchase nearly 100 artworks depicting life at the river. Tickets to the Collector's Gala are $50.

A "plein air" painting competition, exhibition and sale entitled Paint Main 2.5 will be held on Gloucester Main Street at the Tabb House Lawn on Saturday, May 27 from 8:00 - 11:30 AM. Tickets to Paint Main 2.5 are $10 for adults and $5 for students (13-18 years).

Children 12 and under are invited to participate in the Kids Paint .5 event starting at 9:00 AM alongside Paint Main 2.5. Tickets to Kids Paint .5 are free but artist registration is requested.

In addition to tickets for individual events, people can also pre-purchase an Art Patron certificate for $500 on the Gloucester Arts Festival site. The certificate gives the Art Patron two early-access tickets to the Collector's Gala on May 26 with $500 in art purchase credit, two tickets to the Meet the Artists Dinner on May 24, and preferred access to other festival events and participating artists.

Finally, the Gloucester Arts Festival concludes with a family concert by the Virginia Symphony "on the lawn" of Main Street & Walter Reed Way. Expected to draw more than 2,000 spectators, the Symphony under the Stars concert is free and begins at 8:00 PM on Saturday, May 27.

The Gloucester Arts Festival and Symphony Under the Stars events are supported by the Cook Foundation, a non-profit 501c3 committed to enhancing quality-of-life by promoting local arts and architecture.

To learn more, visit gloucesterartsfestival.com or connect on Facebook.

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