It might be called Artpark, but the fierce commitment to the visual arts that gave the picturesque Lewiston venue its name has taken a back seat in recent decades to concerts and other more profitable events. But thanks to a renewed drive to amp up the venue’s visual arts activities, that’s slowly beginning to change.
One case in point is the installation of new sculptures and other installations that have appeared over the past few summers, with more ambitious artist residencies and other programming planned for future years. Another is Saturday’s visual arts and music festival, dubbed ArtsParked, which will feature some 80 local artists selling their work out of the trunks of their cars in the venue’s parking lot. From 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, as a kind of teaser for the Music is Art Festival on Sept. 13, more than 20 Western New York bands will perform on two stages, and a fleet of food trucks also will be on hand.
The festival will feature dance and theater performances from Verve Dance Studio, Niagara University Repertory Theatre, Michele Costa’s TheatreFiguren, Fleuron Rouge and Belly Dance Academy Dancers, among others.
“Artpark has historically been a place of experimentation and innovation; an environment that has supported and given venue to every artistic medium whether it has been paint, guitar or human movement,” Artpark’s Visual Arts and Family Programming Director Tanis Winslow said in a statement. “It seemed a long time in coming that we put on a festival of this nature.”
The festival is free. Call 754-9000 or visit www.artpark.net.
– Colin Dabkowski