The Westport Fine Arts Festival takes place on the weekend of July 20 and 21 with works on display from more than 175 juried artists, arts fun for kids, food and the Wesport Library’s giant annual summer book sale — heavy enough to slow down the rotation of the Earth.
— an announcement from the Westport Downtown Merchants Association
The 46th Westport Fine Arts Festival is returning this year one week later than usual. It takes place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday, throughout the downtown area.
Lots to See and Do
Artists will exhibit in a wide range of categories, with an expanded showing of sculpture and mixed media this year, along with returning favorites in the painting and photography categories.
Brooks Plaza is once again home to the ever-popular Kids Create area, where little artists can enjoy child-friendly activities presented by the Artist Collective of Westport and Jerry’s Artarama. Hatter and Tatter return to delight children with their range of face painting possibilities.
The Artist Collective tent has become a favorite feature in the kids’ area. The group generously donates their time to make the festival a fun and family-friendly experience.
The local food offering includes culinary delights from nationally recognized chefs. This year, the Westport Fine Arts Festival welcomes Bill Taibe of Kawa Ni and Matt Storch of Match Burger Lobster.
Food options will cater to both sophisticated palettes, as well as offering kid-friendly favorites at the new shaded food court next to Vineyard Vines.
The festival bars are available throughout the circuit serving refreshing cocktails, beer, and non-alcoholic beverages.
Book Sale (the Earth Will Groan With It’s Weight)
The Westport Library Book Sale takes place Saturday, July 20 through Tuesday, July 23.
The number of books on sale is enormous (bring a strong bag and a strong back with you). There is a huge selection of hardcover and paperback fiction books, non-fiction titles in over 50 categories, DVDs, CDs, vinyl records and thousands of children’s books.
The book sale hours are:
- Saturday, July 20: 9 a.m. to 6 pm
- Sunday, July 21: 10 a.m.to 5 pm
- Monday, July 22: 9 a.m. to 5 pm (Half-Price Day)
- Tuesday, July 23: 9 a.m. to 1 pm ($5/Bag Day)
Emerging Artists Exhibit
Patrons are invited to visit the Emerging Artists exhibit, situated on the banks of the Saugatuck River on the Westport Library Riverwalk.
Created with the Silvermine Arts Center and the Drew Friedman foundation, this program recognizes artists at the start of their careers who are either currently enrolled in MFA Programs or recently graduated.
“The Emerging Artists Program is an opportunity for the Westport Downtown Merchants and the Westport Fine Arts Festival to support and nurture the future of the arts within our footprint,” said WDMA president Randy Herbertson.
“The Riverwalk location is another way to showcase the new Library renovation, and strengthen our partnership with the Library Book Sale, happening the same weekend.”
The winning Emerging Artist will receive a $3,000 grant and the opportunity to exhibit at the Silvermine Arts Center. The 2nd and 3rd place artists will each receive $1000. This exhibit opens on Friday evening, July 19 at 5 p.m., and is available for viewing throughout the weekend.
Art Demonstrations, Interactive Projects
In addition to the works on display, on Taylor Place visitors will find a tent featuring demonstrations and interactive projects by the Artist Collective of Westport.
Here patrons of all ages will have the opportunity to engage in different creative activities presented by Collective members.
“We are thrilled to be partnering with the WDMA,” said Miggs Burroughs, one of the founding members of the Artist Collective.
“There will be five or six outstanding local artists at any one time in the tent demonstrating and teaching a wide variety of techniques with media as varied as clam shells, ceramics, murals, wire, photography, bandaids, folded paper, paint and much more,” Burroughs said.
Outreach to Interior Designers
This year the Westport Fine Arts Festival has added another level of community outreach to local interior designers.
Through a partnership with the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID), the WDMA invites local designers for a mimosa breakfast and docent-led tour of the festival on Sunday morning, hosted by Williams Sonoma Westport and Connecticut Cottages and Gardens. ASID designers can register for this featured event on the WDMA website.
The 46th Westport Fine Arts Festival is presented and produced by the Westport Downtown Merchants Association, with artist direction by Sue Brown Gordon of Gordon Fine Arts.