For 61 years Hendersonville has hosted the fine art and fine craft fair Art on Main. This year the tradition continues with a twist as the event takes place virtually rather than on the streets of downtown Hendersonville. From 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, September 26 and 27, the public will be able to livestream artists’ demonstrations, interviews and musical performances. Virtual showrooms will be available from 1–4 p.m. on both days, offering access to all 40 artists in their studios.
“Considering the number of events cancelled this year it is exciting to connect with other artists and patrons of the arts in this way,” says painter Ben Compton. “It won’t replace the face-to-face interaction we are accustomed to having, but it will add a separate dimension to our connectivity with each other that will become, perhaps, the norm as opposed to the unusual.”
Compton is optimistic that the virtual event will be much like his open studios during which he displays an in-progress painting on his easel and receives valuable feedback from patrons. “Maybe the virtual format will enhance that opportunity for verbal interaction,” he says.
Other artists are planning similar experiences. Walter Arnold will talk with patrons about his fine art photographic series titled The Art of Abandonment. He will answer questions, discuss his method for photographing abandoned places, relay the histories behind many of the locations he has explored and show videos he has produced in some of them. Suzanne Woolf will utilize several of her in-progress works to demonstrate how she builds layers and adds imagery to create a story in her mixed media and collage pieces. Potter Janet Leazenby will demonstrate her techniques for stretching and texturing clay. “I feel strongly about the work that I will be presenting,” says Leazenby. “The extra time in my studio has given me the opportunity to slow down and examine it with a closer and more critical eye.”
Patrons can view participating artists’ work prior to the show at ArtOnMainNC.com. One piece by each artist will be featured in the Art on Main Virtual Gallery.
“While the big event takes place in September we are pushing arts supporters to visit our artists’ sites early and to shop in our virtual gallery,” says Arts Council of Henderson County (ACofHC) executive director Hannah Duncan. ACofHC has had an 80 percent increase in its social media following since expanding its online presence in early spring, she says. She hopes that will be the case for artists participating in Art on Main as well.
Learn more about the event, the artists and their work at ArtOnMainNC.com.