The first weekend in October should have been the time when one of the metropolitan area’s and the nation’s top art shows returned to Armonk.
It will still be held but from a distance.
The 59th annual Armonk Outdoor Art Show’s in-person activities were canceled earlier this year but that doesn’t mean art lovers will be shortchanged. They will still be able to check out and buy beautiful pieces from the 160 juried artists who were selected for this year’s event and were set to be on hand this year.
The acclaimed art show, which normally draws thousands of people throughout the tristate area and beyond, has been rebranded the Armonk Online Art Show for 2020. It will be held virtually on Oct. 3 and 4 starting at 10 a.m. instead of at Community Field.
“Fortunately, we planned for and completed our new website, so that the artwork of all 160 juried artists can be viewed, with each artists’ contact information,” said the show’s Executive Director Anne Curran. “This was done so that our audience can see the variety of art represented in our show, connect directly with artists to inquire about their work, and purchase great art.”
Patrons are encouraged to communicate directly with the artists, and they may even arrange to visit an artist’s studio. Through direct conversation with an artist, they can ask questions, give preferences for size, color and design and be guided personally by the artist, Curran added.
“I also believe that art viewed in this way, provides viewers the opportunity to think about art in the setting they wish to display it,” she said. “In fact, we have been told that this is an advantage to selecting the right piece of art for a room.”
What hasn’t changed from the previous installments of the show is the sheer variety that will be available. There will be a broad range of categories, including fine crafts, mixed media, painting, printmaking, drawing and pastels, sculpture, photography and digital art and wearable art.
The show’s website will feature a “Meet the Artists” page with a relatively brief explanation of each artist and their work.
There will also be a schedule of events posted on the site likely by this weekend so the public can view several montages of the artists’ work and other in-depth sessions. Events will include a mix of premiere videos and live programs, featuring the artists presenting their current work and talking about their techniques and inspiration, according to Curran.
In the past, net proceeds from the show have gone to support educational and entertainment programming at the North Castle Public Library along with The Armonk Players theater group. Unfortunately, this year pandemic has cost the show significant revenue from artist booth fees, tickets, sponsorships and food vendors, Curran said.
Over the past five years, the show has raised about $700,000 for the Friends of the North Castle Public Library.
While there have been fewer expenses this year, the lost revenue and fewer donations has the show currently running at a deficit, Curran said. Organizers are hopeful as the online show draws closer, the community will go to the website, https://armonkoutdoorartshow.org, to make a donation.
That will enable the show to reach its milestone 60th anniversary next year – trusting that everyone will be able to return in person in 2021.
“Our small town, with a big heart and a wonderful community of volunteers, has hosted this show for 59 years,” Curran said. “We are asking for community donations to support our independent, nationally recognized show, so that we can return to the field, stronger than ever next year for our 60th anniversary, and resume our mission to fund a broad variety of community programs.”