Arts Center Killingworth's (ACK) free Autumn Arts Festival is approaching its 10-year anniversary, but that doesn't mean it's becoming staid. In fact, ACK Executive Director Barbara Nair says the key to the festival's success is maintaining a careful balance between delivering what arts-lovers have come to expect and introducing some variation.
"We've taken a big step forward at the festival this year," says Nair of the event planned for Saturday, Oct. 12 from
9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Sunday, Oct. 13 from noon to 5:30 p.m. on the Madison Green. "In the past, we focused more on local, shoreline artists. Now, while many of the public's favorites are back, there are many new artists who were personally invited to participate based on the quality of their work...I'd say the list of [participating] artists and towns covered says a great deal about the experience this year."
Next weekend will bring "lots and lots of new faces and work most people in our area have not seen," Nair continues. Additionally, this is the first year most artists were invited to participate, so the quality of work keeps getting better and better-as it will, hopefully, as the festival continues to grow and build good word of mouth."
And word has certainly been spreading, says Nair-a phenomenon that benefits both the artists and art-lovers.
"Meeting and interacting with prominent and emerging artists while having the opportunity to collect fine art and high-end crafts has been drawing new and, of course, returning visitors year and year. For artists, their work is exposed to a host of people who become buyers or even long-term collectors. For instance, one collector has told me that the festival affords her the opportunity to collect a set of high-end, one-of-a-kind porcelain dinnerware over time to fit her budget," says Nair.
This year, visitors to the Madison Green will find dozens of fine artists and crafters showcasing works in media ranging from representational and abstract painting to photography, prints, pottery, ceramics, jewelry, fabric, glass, wood, and more. Artists hail from throughout Connecticut, as well as New England and New York. And, a few of the local artists will even open up their studios to the public over the weekend.
Says Nair, "Those who chose to show out of their studios this year afford the public a real treat, as they may have work that does not transfer easily to such a public location like the Green."
Before visiting the studios, though, festival-goers will want to make the most of their time on the Green-time that will be made even more special by features like gourmet food vendors and performances by the JazzMan Duo and singer, songwriter, and bandleader Mark Rosenberg.
As Nair sums it up, "This event is one of the best ways to enjoy a beautiful fall weekend on the shoreline."
Arts Center Killingworth's 2013 Autumn Arts Festival and Open Studios is on Saturday, Oct. 12 from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and on Sunday, Oct. 13 from noon to 5:30 p.m. on the Madison Green, with select participating artists opening their private studios to the public (map available on the Green with detailed information). For more information about the festival, including a complete listing of participating artists and those opening their studios on Columbus Day Weekend, visit www.artscenterkillingworth.org.
Local Participating Artists
Jay Babina (Branford)
Karen Bartone (Clinton)*
Sally Tucker Bell (Clinton)
Joanne Sadimas Betcher (Madison)
Diane Ceneri (East Haven)
Jennifer Conroy (Madison)
Lisa R. Fatone (Westbrook)
Hilary Griffin (Madison)*
Tricia Hamel (Ivoryton)
Diane Honer (Ivoryton)
Bill Hosking (Killingworth)
Jackie Koromhas (Killingworth)
Astrid Niemelaeinen (Killingworth)*
Gloria Nilsson (Killingworth)
John Parent (Guilford)
Margie Rosenberg (Killingworth)
Beverly Schirmeier (Westbrook)
Nancy Scilipote (Northford)
Carole Young (Madison)
* denotes an artist who is opening his or her studio to the public