Friends of Chautauqua Visual Arts hosts Art in the Park to benefit student scholarships

Chautauquans fill Miller Park during the second Art in the Park of last season on Aug. 6, 2023.
Dave Munch / Daily file photo
Chautauquans fill Miller Park during the second Art in the Park of last season on Aug. 6, 2023.

Artists from all over the area will make their way to Miller Park on Sunday for the first of two Art in the Park events of the 2024 season, hosted by the Friends of Chautauqua Visual Arts.

Lydia Strohl and Ellie Nickeson, FCVA board members, helped organize the event.

The fair will see the arrival of about 80 vendors who will showcase a wide variety of mediums like paintings, ceramics, textiles and more. Among the vendors at this year’s event, some of the Chautauqua Visual Arts artists-in-residence will be selling their work.

Chautauqua can expect to see a mixture of new and returning artists with a selection of new work and longtime fan favorites.

“We usually have a good mix of people who come for years and people who are new, and that’s nice because a lot of people here look forward to this and want to come each summer,” Strohl said. “It’s nice to know that there will be some new people.”

An important element of Art in the Park, she said, is that everything being sold has a handcrafted component from the artists, and that while it isn’t a juried exhibition, she views it as an art show of its own where Chautauquans can experience the breadth of art and craft in the community.

Nickeson added that many vendors are artists in the broader Western New York region and others are Chautauquans who spend their summers at the Institution.

She explained that some artists only participate in Art in the Park and don’t partake in other similar art festivals.

“Some of our artists tell us that this is the only show they do,” Nickeson said. “They’re very small in terms of their focus and because of the nature of this show, they feel very welcome.”

For Strohl, a compelling component of Art in the Park is the diversity of art that is available for purchase. She said she believes there is something for everyone to enjoy, no matter their style, practical needs or price point.

“I think that there is an opportunity for people to come down who have their babysitting money, as well as people who want a big piece of art for their living room or for their yard,” she said. “It’s really across crafts, it’s across ages and we really hope it is open and accessible to everybody.”

Strohl is particularly excited about the Open Mic and various food vendors that will be present at the event. She encourages Chautauquans of all ages and skill sets to come enjoy and partake in the live entertainment and food.

Vendor registration for the second Art in the Park of the 2024 season is still open.

Through events like this one, Friends of Chautauqua Visual Arts work to raise funds for Chautauqua Visual Arts scholarships. They aim to provide financial support to artists-in-residence who wish to study at the Institution.

“Everything that we do is making money for scholarships so that we can provide all residents — anyone who wants to come here — with the opportunity to come here, regardless of whether they’re financially able to do that,” Strohl said. “That’s the goal.”

Tags : Art in the ParkChautauqua Visual ArtsEllie NickesonFCVAFriends of Chautauqua Visual ArtsLydia Strohlscholarshipsvisual arts

The author Julia Weber

Julia Weber is a rising junior in Ohio University’s Honors Tutorial College where she is majoring in journalism and minoring in art history. Originally from Athens, Ohio, this is her first summer in Chautauqua and she is thrilled to cover the theater and dance performances. She serves as the features editor for Ohio University’s All-Campus Radio Network, a student-run radio station and media hub, and she is a former intern for Pittsburgh Magazine. Outside of her professional life, Julia has a newly adopted cat, Griffin, and she is an avid fan of live music and a dedicated ceramicist.