Inaugural Gloucester Arts Festival to Take Place May 20-27, 2017

Weeklong Slate of Interactive Events Culminates with Free Outdoor Concert by The Virginia Symphony

Gloucester, Va. March 29, 2017 - An exciting schedule of events and impressive roster of acclaimed artists has been announced for the inaugural Gloucester Arts Festival taking place May 20-27, 2017. Located in the historic coastal community of Gloucester, VA the interactive festival will feature workshops and chats with artists, painting competitions, art sales, children events, gallery receptions and more. It will culminate with the county's annual Symphony Under the Stars, a free community concert on Gloucester's Main Street featuring The Virginia Symphony.

The festival will showcase some of the finest artists from the Mid-Atlantic region through outdoor "plein air" painting sessions that inspire them to capture the natural beauty and charm of the area. Nearly 20 award-winning artists, selected by curator artist Dorothy Fagan, will celebrate life at the river over five days - capturing Gloucester's amazing countryside and people in the first Heart of the River Collection.

Festival attendees will be able to gather at designated picturesque venues to watch the artistic magic unfold.

"We are honored to have so many wonderful artists join us for this inaugural festival," said Jenny Crittenden, Executive Director of the Cook Foundation, a key presenter of the festival. "This is a terrific opportunity for folks of all ages in our community to get a taste of the arts while learning, drawing inspiration from and being entertained by some incredibly talented people."

In addition to galas and artist receptions, scheduled events include:

• Plein Air Workshop (May 20-21) - A two-day all-level, all-media, intensive workshop with dynamic and award-winning artist Hai-Ou Hou that is timed to prepare attendees mentally and physically for painting quickly in plein air or any alla prima subject.

• Nocturne Paint Out (May 22) - A rare opportunity to paint en plein air with Hai-Ou Hou in a spirit of evening camaraderie at Gloucester's historic and scenic Little England Plantation farm.

• Paint Main 2.5 and Kids Paint .5 (May 27) - A plein air painting competition, exhibit and sale open to anyone who wishes to participate, including invited Festival Artists. All ages and talent levels are welcome and newly created paintings will be made available for immediate purchase. Kids Paint .5 is for children ages 12 and under.

• Symphony Under the Stars (May 27) - Drawing more than 2,000 people, this free family concert by the Virginia Symphony "on the lawn" of Main Street & Walter Reed Way.

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

For more information and to purchase tickets for selected events, visit gloucesterartsfestival.com or connect on Facebook.

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