Fine arts and original handcrafts on the riverfront
By Cathy Welch
What began in 2011 as the anchor to Yorktown’s September Arts month hosted its eighth year on Sept. 29 as a wildly successful event on Riverwalk Landing.
“The art, the music, the venue, the friends and the neighbors combined to make this a perfect Sunday afternoon,” Yorktown resident Lyn Douglas said.
Sponsored by the Yorktown Arts Foundation, York County, and special funding from the Yorktown Arts Commission, the free Yorktown Art Stroll nestles artists in the Freight Shed and along the surrounding waterfront. Patrons walk among displays featuring original art including oil, acrylic and watercolor paintings, glasswork, drawings, photography, jewelry, pottery, painted furniture, fiber art, handmade soap, culinary art and woodwork.
The driving force behind this event is Yorktown Arts Foundation’s past president and chair, Kathleen Wahl, who is a featured artist and volunteer at Main Street’s On the Hill Gallery.
“The mission of this event is to expose the community to local artists and show the area how much talent there is just a stone’s throw away,” Wahl explains.
Patrons leisurely strolled around shopping and talking to 40-plus artists who display their finest work. More artists were featured at the event this year than in past events.
Rick Hopson, nature photographer and Colonial Nature Photography Club member, participated for the third year.
“I enjoy it,” he said. “I’ve done well this year.”
Richmond-based, full-time artist Roni Navroski, paints most of his work on feathers. He sells his work at the Yorktown Museum and Jamestown Settlement.
“I try to participate in at least one local show a year so I can get familiar with the people and help promote the businesses,” he said. “As long as the feathers keep flying, I’ll be all right.”
Williamsburg-based author and photographer Peter Stipe promoted his photography and three published books. The most recent, “Remember Me,” follows his quest to discover his true family history.
Yorktown Arts Foundation provided 45-plus volunteers to assist artists with loading and unloading their work, refreshments and breaks. They also manned the free face painting for children and artwork booth. York County employees provide valuable support on event day, as well.
“I have met and worked with the most dedicated and talented people in the community who, together, have the ability to create enormous change to the face of local art,” Wahl said. “The artists flourish and gain confidence in their work through attendees’ feedback.”
In their second appearance at Yorktown Art Stroll, Audio Portrait, an acoustic harmony trio featuring Kevin Barry on guitar and vocals Alex Woodland on keyboards and Chris Odle on bass and vocals entertained attendees with The Beatles, Crosby Stills and Nash, Simon & Garfunkel tunes and more next to the Freight Shed.
“The local culture of Yorktown has always been geared to the town’s historic nature and the fact that it is basically a water town with beach and tourist activities,” Wahl said. “History draws visitors from around the world and as they come to the waterfront a different aspect is revealed — an artistic side coexisting with the historic side.”
For information, contact Kathleen Wahl at firstname.lastname@example.org.