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The Armonk Outdoor Art Show has always been about high-quality art throughout its history.
That remains true today, but organizers have been hard at work to make sure that the nationally acclaimed show appeals to hardcore connoisseurs looking to bolster their personal collection as well as making it an enjoyable experience for the entire family and community.
This Saturday and Sunday, the 61st annual show returns to Community Park in Armonk featuring about 140 artists from across the United States and around the world.
“It’s a great weekend activity, especially when the weather is in our favor, and we love when our visitors spend the entire day,” said Nicole Blum, the show’s managing director.
Much of that has to do with the wide array of art that can be seen and is available to buy. The show’s volunteer jury decides which artists participate each year from more than 600 applications, evaluating the quality of the art but also seeking a variety of media and styles, from oils, acrylics and watercolors, to mixed media, printmaking and pastels, sculpture, photography and digital art, wearable art and fine crafts.
The show also seeks out work at all price points to appeal to the widest possible audience, Blum said.
There will be more than 40 new artists on hand this weekend, and the returning ones will only bring new works, keeping the show fresh for longtime patrons, she said.
“We’re really trying to, to the extent that it’s possible, hold an event that people with totally different tastes, different needs, different styles can enjoy all at the same time,” Blum said.
Part of that wide appeal is to make the event family- and child-friendly. Once again, the show will feature a family activities tent with hands-on art projects for the children, Blum said. There will also be collages, story time, a scavenger hunt and other fun things to do for children from toddlers through elementary school.
“We want this show to be something our whole family can enjoy,” Blum said. “That’s why our family activities tent is one of our most popular ones of the show year after year, and we have a lot of new art vendors in that family activities tent as well for children to enjoy this year.”
Also important in making sure the show attractive is the variety of food trucks –seven food vendors in all – that will be on the grounds this year. It makes sense from a practical standpoint to have an assortment of purveyors, so people won’t be tempted to leave when they need something to eat, Blum said.
“We want our patrons to take all of the time they have to talk with artists and to experience their work, but you’re going to get hungry, and the same way you’re going to want to provide the art that speaks to very different tastes, we want to do the same thing with our vendors, while supporting, first and foremost, our local restaurants and local food vendors,” Blum explained.
Food vendors this year are DeCicco & Sons, Fortina, David Chen, Root 2 Rise, Captain Lawrence, which will be offering beer, wine and selected cocktails along with selected food items, and Penny Lick Ice Cream. A new vendor will be La Mer Seafood, an Armonk-based restaurant.
Best of all, net proceeds will benefit the Friends of the North Castle Library to help support programs, building and technology upgrades at its two branches in Armonk and North White Plains and the Armonk Players theater group. In many years, the show generates well over $100,000 for the library, Blum said.
“I think first-time visitors and returning visitors are going to be very happy with the amount of artists that we have this year, and the best part is that we have been able to maintain the quality of the artists that I think our patrons have come to expect, Blum said.
Martin has more than 30 years experience covering local news in Westchester and Putnam counties, including a frequent focus on zoning and planning issues. He has been editor-in-chief of The Examiner since its inception in 2007. Read more from Martin’s editor-author bio here. Read Martin’s archived work here: https://www.theexaminernews.com/author/martin-wilbur2007/