Brandywine Festival of the Arts slated for Saturday and Sunday

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At least 16 emerging artists will be among the nearly 200 artists and crafters displaying their works Sept. 9-10 at the 56th Brandywine Festival of the Arts, in the Josephine Gardens of Wilmington’s Brandywine Park.

“The world of art is constantly evolving, so it is important that shows like this one incorporate the fresh viewpoints of newer artists with the works of popular artists who have made the Brandywine Festival of the Arts one of the most popular events in the mid-Atlantic region,” says Barry Schlecker of Barry’s Events, the festival’s producer.

The festival allocates about 10 percent of its display space each year to emerging artists, newer professionals and those who have not previously exhibited their work at a show of this size.

This year’s entrants work in a variety of media, including six painters, a photographer, three jewelers and four ceramists.

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The mix also includes Sarah Jane Evans of Spiderbite Boutique, who creates handmade journals and toys to help children cope with anxieties and fears and also paints cute and whimsical illustrations.

  • Robin Kielkowski of Brandywine Botanicals creates custom fragrances using luxurious essences containing natural oils.
  • Betsy and Brad Conlin of BC Squared Ceramics will be offering hand-built three-dimensional tiles mounted on reclaimed wood and bottles as well as thrown pots embellished with clay, recycled glass and piercings.
  • Ashley Richard of Succulent Designs by Ashley grows succulents and arranges them into unique pots while Lindsey Ostafy of What She Said Pottery specializes in hand-thrown ceramic mugs adorned with quirky phrases.

Twelve of this year’s emerging artists are based in Delaware, three in New Jersey and one in Pennsylvania. Most participants are from those states and Maryland, but the festival typically draws artists from at least a dozen states. California, Texas and Florida had representatives at the 2016 festival.

In addition to artists and crafters displaying and selling their works, the festival features live music by local performers, children’s activities and a wide selection of local food vendors.

Claymont painter Rick Phillips, founder of the Darley Art Center, will be the featured artist at this year’s festival. In addition to having his works for sale, examples of his finest works will be displayed prominently on the festival grounds.

For exhibitors and visitors alike, the Brandywine Festival of the Arts carries special significance – the start of a new season of shows for artists, and an opportunity for shoppers to freshen up their homes and get an early start on holiday gift purchases, Schlecker says.

The festival, begun in 1961 as the Brandywine Arts Festival, a street fair in downtown Wilmington. It was renamed the Brandywine Festival of the Arts in 2010, when Barry’s Events took over its operation.

Hours are 10 a.m.-6 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 9, and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 10.

Admission is $5; children under 12 accompanied by an adult are admitted free.

Remote parking with free shuttle bus service will be available from Baynard Stadium, Salesianum School and Papastavros Associates at 1701 Augustine Cut-Off. (The Brandywine Zoo, opposite the festival grounds, will be offering $1 admission on festival days.

For more information, including a schedule of roster of exhibitors and a schedule of performing musicians, see www.brandywinearts.com or visit Brandywine Festival of the Arts on Facebook.

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