Change Was on Display at 42nd Annual “Art in the Park” in Manchester, Connecticut
Posted on June 9, 2015
Change was on display June 7 when more than 127 artisans, crafters and other vendors took part in the 42nd Annual “Art in the Park” held in Manchester, Connecticut’s Center Memorial Park. After four decades of being run by the Manchester Art Association, the first Sunday in June slot was kept but this year the event became juried as the reins were handed to new hosts Young @ Art CT and Imagine Main Street under the supervision of a new coordinator, Cynthia Bulaong.
The first-come, first-pick approach of the past for registered participants was scrapped and replaced with assigned spots, interactive art projects were featured, as well as, live performances throughout the day from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Organizers could not have asked for more perfect weather to launch their modifications – a sunny, no humidity day with comfortable temperatures in the low 70 degrees seemed to put everyone in friendly moods.
“The picturesque park hosting this outdoor show surrounding Mary Cheney Library is open to fine artists of all kinds and all media is encouraged to apply,” it was noted on the 2015 “Art in the Park” website.
Interactive Art Projects included “Help Paint the Community Mural – Young @ Art”, “Add to the Weaving Projects – Nina Salazar” and “Decorate a Wooden Rose for the Community Art Garden – MCC on Main”. Performances on a small stage at the bottom of the park’s hill ran the gamut from a piano/guitar duo, song and dance duo, folk acoustic, poets, Indie Punk, to contemporary dance.
Woodcarver Jonathan Morel made another return visit to the venue showing his goods, such as left-handed, right-handed or ‘uncommited’ spatulas and spoons, and lovely, intricately carved walking sticks. Morel said he learned the craft from his friend George around 2002 then began taking part in craft shows in 2011. Initially, he said, woodcarving supplemented his regular income in education but with budget cuts in his field, as of this year woodcarving is his primary livelihood.
Morel has been a participant in the “Art in the Park” event for years, and occasionally also drives down from Massachusetts to buy wood locally to create his crafts.
The changes to “Art in the Park” appear to be more promising pieces in an ongoing effort to revitalize historic downtown Manchester.