Yorktown Art Stroll brings artists out into community


Artists of every stripe took to Water Street to show off their works at the annual Yorktown Art Stroll Sunday.

The event, now in its sixth year, provided the perfect venue for people to get a closer look at the artistic process as they perused the works of about 40 artists, who worked in mediums ranging from paintings and pottery to crafts and clothing, Yorktown Arts Foundation President Kathleen Wahl said.

Yorktown Arts Foundation sponsored the event, as did the county with special funding from the Yorktown Arts Commission.

Artists demonstrated their techniques and sold their works from booths set up along Water Street, putting them in a good place to catch the eye of diners leaving restaurants or beachgoers looking for a break from the sand.

The set-up allowed visitors to get a different perspective on art in a local setting, Wahl said.

“It brings a hometown feeling.”

Jennifer Gleason, a Virginia Beach digital artist and photographer, felt the event allowed her to get closer to her audience.

“I’m more able to interact,” said Gleason, who added that the event’s location opens up art to people who may not be gallery regulars.

Another Yorktown Art Stroll newcomer was Becky Crossett of Baka Books, who sat behind a whole library of journals she made by hand. She was joined at her booth by daughter Kenya Finley of Flomop Studio, who offered needle-felt animal miniatures.

Crossett’s journals are crafted with found materials, such as envelopes, and while they range in appearance and binding, they’re intended to be written in, Crossett said.

Al Latorre, a painter, is a veteran of the event and said he enjoyed it for the friendly atmosphere and view of the York River.

Yorktown Art Stroll is a change of pace from other events where Latorre has hawked his oil paintings, such as events on the Virginia Beach boardwalk, because there are fewer tourists and more locals.

Just down the street, the fourth annual Yorktown Folk Festival was in full swing at the Watermen’s Museum.

The two-day event brought together about 20 folk, blues and Celtic bands to celebrate the music of the region’s watermen culture, Watermen’s Museum President Steve Ormsby said.

“We’ve had some great bands,” Ormsby said.

On Sunday, acts such as LCV Project and Scuppernongaree took to the museum’s several stages throughout the day.

The festival’s intimate setting provided a unique opportunity for the audience and musicians to interact, said Louis Vangieri of LCV Project.

“It’s a good family feeling,” Vangieri said of the event.

Yorktown Arts Foundation and Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream sponsored the festival.

Jacobs can be reached by phone at 757-298-6007.

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