Saturday, September 8, 2007

Old Town Alexandria Arts Festival: Sculpture and Glass

It can be difficult for artists to find successful venues to sell their works. Fortunately, the Old Town Alexandria Arts Festival is one of those shows you can just count on to generate revenue. Perhaps that's why every year, artists mostly from the Mid-Atlantic region return to the lower leg of King Street to set up white canopied booths along the brick and cobblestone for an arts bonanza weekend. It's a great crowd, dogs and all, with three or four distinctly different musicians filling the air with pleasant tunes. It's just great to see people of all ages truly enjoying the overall health of Old Town.

We recognized many studios who've made appearances over the past four years with sadly, not much new in their stable. Sometimes in the traveling arts circuit, when you find a formula that works (sells) - you stick with it without growing in new directions, or daring to push through to the next level. This year, we were surprised to see photography slightly underrepresented in the show. Two of the photo studios in attendance seemed to be drawing less than average interest AND we didn't see the boom in digital work that we expected. While there is multiple media in the show, this year's joy and surprise is in the growth of sculpture in general and glass in particular.
Oh, yes. The glass! What exceptional arrays of color patterns and shapes - and not only from one vendor. As anyone who attended today can tell you, the sun was just unbearable, and the glass just glistened. There was even a new twist in the jewelry genre - a booth of stained glass jewelry! We hit the show twice in one day - in the morning and again at sundown. Even at 4:0o pm it was easy to see people were just plain worn out from walking, humidity, and the crowds - so if you go Sunday, be prepared! Here's a sample of some of what stopped us dead-in-our-tracks. If glass isn't your thing, be sure to watch for the driftwood vendor outside of Bird in Hand Antiques. There's a charming and refreshing treat in store for you there! More details about the show are at