Olde Mistick Village celebrates 46th annual Meet the Artists and Artisans

Mystic -- The heat drew away most of the crowd at the 46th Annual Meet the Artists and Artisans at Olde Mistick Village, but the event's director, Denise morris Curt, says that the event is less about selling and more about exhibiting.

"It's a wonderful way to meet creative people," she said. "Kids can come and be awestricken by what they see and become creative in their own lives."

Curt has curated and organized the event for all 46 years. She says that artists are selected not only for their uniqueness and talent, but for their personalities and temperaments as well. With this weekend's heat, she said she tried to place them around the grounds so everyone was under a tree.

Middletown artist Ria Lira Levine, who creates her own pottery and goes to shows all around the Northeast, said the appeal of the show is its simplicity. 

"Denise curates the show well," Levine said. "It's one of my favorites. It's nice, relaxed and in a beautiful setting."

Artists and artisans on display this year had a wide variety of skills and expression. There were original paintworks that ranged in style and subject matter, handmade jewelry and clothing, woodwork, crafts, photography, and others. Artists mostly came from Connecticut, Rhode Island and Massachusetts. All the art displayed were original works.

This year's show was smaller in terms of both crowd and artists. The artists who had to pull out were mostly older artists who did not feel they could tolerate the heat, Curt said.

Despite a much smaller crowd, Curt said the crowd that did come was "steady."

Artist Bruce Dumas, who has attended the show for 15 years and paints seascapes, said the show is more about interacting then selling.

"I like meeting people and getting feedback on my work," he said. "It's a one-man show all the time. It's not like a gallery where you probably won't meet anyone."

Those driven away by the heat need not despair; the event will return on Labor Day weekend with more artists and artisans.

"It's meant for the public," Curt said. "It's a great way to get out and have a good time."

Those interested in learning more about the event can visit www.meettheartistsandartisans.com.

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