The Wickford Art Association has announced that its largest and most anticipated event, the 58th annual Wickford Art Festival, will not take place this summer on July 11-12. Due to the governor's restrictions on social gatherings and the COVID-19 crisis,
The Wickford Art Association has announced that its largest and most anticipated event, the 58th annual Wickford Art Festival, will not take place this summer on July 11-12. Due to the governor’s restrictions on social gatherings and the COVID-19 crisis, the Wickford Art Association is not willing to risk the safety of the artists, festival-goers, volunteers and staff.
Every summer since 1962, the weekend after the Fourth of July at the height of summer in historic Wickford, over 60,000 festival attendees from near and far descend upon the seaside village to experience the very best fine art by over 200 artists. The festival is always free, while attendees get to explore a full spectrum of fine art, meet the artists from across the state, region and country, purchase one of a kind pieces and enjoy all of the charm Wickford has to offer.
WAA Gallery Director Catherine Gagnon said: “The cancellation of the Wickford Art Festival will not only adversely impact our active creative community, who will lose a major opportunity for exposure of their work, direct sales to collectors and other vendors, and networking potential with artists across the region and nation, but the Association itself, which has grown to depend on the festival as a major fund-raising initiative.”
She added: “In facing the current COVID-19 crisis, the great news is that our artists are resilient and while 2020 is sure to test the resourcefulness of artists across the world, it is the nature and spirit of creators to turn adversity into positive output.”
First-time festival director Ainslie Daly said she and the team at WAA will brainstorm ways to showcase the accepted artists for this year’s festival virtually.
“As putting together an art festival on some sort of virtual platform will not replicate the experience of being at the event in July, and the ability to see a piece of work up close and being inspired to purchase art that speaks to you, we hope to come up with a new creative way to support the artists on digital platform as well as come up a way to help raise funds to support the Wickford Art Association to ensure the festival will be able to happen next year,” she said.
For more information on ways you can currently support the organization and festival artists, visit the Wickford Art Association website, www.wickfordart.org.