The Greater New Hope Chamber of Commerce’s President, Connie Gering, has announced the 20th anniversary of New Hope’s outdoor juried Arts & Crafts Festival, while exploring its artistic history and start. The annual New Hope Arts & Crafts Festival is taking place outdoors at the local high school September 28th and 29th and is sponsored and run buy the Chamber.
This festival features over 200 artists drawing over 20,000 art patrons. This in conjunction with its 20th anniversary, Connie Gering has something to celebrate – newfound, festival artistic history, leading to a deeper inspiration.
“You’ll always hear me say New Hope is the ‘Jewel of the East Coast,’ especially when referencing the Arts & Crafts Festival, and from talking to so many townspeople, I was most recently led to veteran business/restaurant owner, John Larsen of John and Peters. John was married to the late Robin Larsen, founder of the New Hope Arts Center. Interestingly, this dynamic business and artistic couple set out together 20 years ago to help develop what’s now known as one of the largest arts and crafts festivals of the East Coast – the New Hope Chamber’s annual, juried Arts & Crafts Festival. For decades, many visitors, business owners and residents have known this town as a true artist haven, but Robin was known for inspiring our artistic community and bringing it to new, creative heights. As soon as I discovered from John’s stories that Robin was the spirit behind this festival, I gained not only a deeper appreciation for the festival but inspiration for our artists as well.”
John Larsen says, “When I was first approached by the Chamber to start the Festival back in the 90’s, Robin and I made sure we were very selective in choosing artists, we had to screen over 450 submissions and narrow it down to only 30 artists. We knew the quality of art was key to attract the right audiences to this festival and to our town. From what I see, the Chamber still is selective, setting high-standards for submissions, but right away when I first met Connie, I suggested tapping further into the caliber of artists right here in our backyard for potential, additional judges, knowing Connie wants to take the festival to even higher heights; this is something I know Robin would have wanted to see.”
Artists are pre-screened and selected through formal submissions process by the handpicked Chamber Arts & Crafts Festival committee members. This year there will be over 220 local and out-of-state artists uniting to present and promote their oil paintings, watercolors, pastels, sculptures, photography, jewelry, ceramics, glass and wood works and unique drawings.
A select panel of judges will select first, second and third prize winners for the categories fine art, photography, crafts and jewelry. A “Best in Show” will also be chosen. Over $3,000 in prize money will be awarded to the winners.
Visitors to the festival can expect not only great visual art but performing art such as live music, as well as a food court with a variety of delectable treats and a convenient, complimentary shuttle service from festival grounds to New Hope’s Main Street, providing guests multiple experiences at various gift shops and restaurants throughout New Hope.
For more information about the Arts & Crafts Festival, go to www.NewHopeArtsandCraftsFestival.com.