Weather couldn't stop Art on the River from brightening up Yorktown

aheymann@vagazette.com

The parking garage at Riverwalk Landing is usually full of cars, but on Sunday it was filled with art vendors and music for the sixth annual Art on the River at Yorktown riverfront.

While usually outside, this year’s art show was moved into the parking garage because of severe weather warnings. This decision was made the night before the event.

“The weather forecast said there would be thunderstorms today and we didn’t want to get caught out in the thunderstorms,” said Maydel Nelson, committee chairwoman of Art on the River. “Rain we could take, but thunderstorms, no.”

Despite the sudden shift in venue, Nelson said the transition went smoothly with the county giving three or four people to help set up the event.

“The artists love being in (the garage) and out of the rain, the customers are here so we are having a good day,” Nelson said.

In addition to the location change, there were also some new activities this year: a table where children made their own art and live demonstrations by the Tidewater Turners and the Tidewater Basketry Guild.

Liz Pagneac, a member of the Tidewater Basketry Guild, said the group was approached by event organizers to come out and participate.

“Our purpose here is to expose people to this art and let them know we exist and let them know there are (basket weaving) classes available in the spring and the fall which are open to the public,” Pagnaec said.

With the guild’s classes, Pagnaec said participants will finish a basket by the end of each session.

“Even if they’re not interested in coming back at least they have a usable basket,” Pagnaec said.

From photography to jewelry making Nelson said there were about 10 different art forms on display at the show. One of the artists Jyln Henderson, a painter from Deltaville, said this was her first year at the festival.

“I would (come again) because I’m having fun,” Henderson said. “Just the openness of everyone in meeting new people and meeting other artists and just being part of a community event has been — I think that has the best part.”

Bonnie Bruce Mettler, a judge at the art show, seconded this opinion, saying the event was a good way to help artists in the community to expose themselves to each other.

“I think that’s how art works — artists look at other artists work and learn other possibilities or think ‘oh I might wanna incorporate that into my work,’” Mettler said. “Also a fun event on a Sunday gets the public out and hopefully people are buying artwork which is exactly what this society needs.”

Heymann can be reached by phone at 757-298-5828 or on Twitter at @HeymannAmelia.

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