Up in Vermont, Edward Loedding heard the reputation of the Westport Fine Arts Festival: It was a great show, but if you were stuck on Gorham Island, you were dead. It was hot as hell, and very few people ventured over.
So for several years, Loedding did not apply for a spot. Two years ago, he gave it a try.
He was put on Gorham Island — and had a “wonderful” experience. Last year, on Parker Harding Plaza, was even better.
Westport is now a highly prized spot on Loedding’s calendar. And he’s happy wherever he’s assigned.
“Sunset Barn,” by Edward Loedding.
Loedding — a very talent photographer and digital artist — will be in Westport this weekend, for the 41st annual Art Show. (He’s in booth #64-65, along the river.) He joins over 135 artists — 39 of them new — showing works in drawing, mixed media, painting, photography, printmaking, sculpture, watercolor, glass, fiber, wood, jewelry and ceramics.
Plus music, food, street performers, face painters, a magician, a balloon artist and mime.
“Don’t mime me,” this guy said last year at the Westport Fine Arts Festival.
Loedding loves it all — especially the art-lovers.
“A high percentage know what they’re looking for, and appreciate it,” Loedding says. “I do 20 shows a year up and down the East Coast, and that’s not always the case.”
A potential customer takes a shot of some intriguing art along the river, in 2011.
Westport’s Elizabeth Marks Juviler will be there too. She’s involved in many local activities — Girl Scout leader, PAL cheerleading coach, Young Women’s League president, Historical Society board member, Westport Country Playhouse staffer — but she is also a noted artist.
Juviler has participated in the Downtown Merchants Association’s “Art About Town” event, and sells in galleries and design stores, but this is her 1st time at the summer show. “As a Westport artist who has purchased art there, I wanted to be in the Fine Arts Festival,” she says. “It’s a goal I set for myself.”
Westport — its landscapes, nature and beach — inspire Juviler’s work. Three years ago, she began incorporating recycled newspapers and magazines onto her canvases. She combines headlines, words, pictures and layers of paint to create art that is “a moment in time.”
Scores of artists — and hundreds of art lovers — will have their time this weekend. And whether they’re on the river or Gorham Island matters not at all.
(The Westport Downtown Merchants Association’s 41st annual Fine Arts Festival is set for this Saturday, July 19 from 10 a.m.-6 p.m., and Sunday, July 20 from 10 a.m.-5 p.m., at Parker Harding Plaza and Gorham Island. Meanwhile, across the Post Road, the Westport Library hosts its “best ever” book sale, from 9 a.m.-6 p.m. both days.)
Artists relax near their work on Gorham Island, in 2009.