It’s almost time to enjoy the month-long Gloucester Arts Festival that celebrates the art and the beauty of one of Virginia’s most picturesque coastal towns.
Many of the festivities are free, including a sculpture unveiling along Gloucester Main Street on Thursday, June 3, the inaugural event of the 2021 festival. Join New Yorker Jay Lagemann, nationally known for his whimsical 3D metal creations, on the patio of Gloucester Brewing Company at 5:30 p.m. for a trek along Main Street. He will explain the inspiration for each of the 10 sculptures that he will unveil; comfortable shoes are a must for this one. Gloucester Brewing Company will have an unveiling of a different sort afterward: a special Gloucester Arts Festival beer.
On the following night, Friday, June 4, Lagemann will discuss the sculptures along Main Street in a talk that will feature a Q&A from 5-7 p.m., at Arts on Main. Beer and wine will be for sale and complimentary snacks offered inside the gallery located at 6580 Main St.
“This is a unique opportunity to combine art and music together,” said Jenny Crittenden, Executive Director of the Cook Foundation, a key presenter of the annual festival.
During the Virginia Symphony concert, plein air artists will paint live to string and brass selections from Mozart and Tchaikovsky, Sousa and Gershwin. Gates open at 6:30 p.m. Picnics welcome.
On Saturday, June 12, watch art develop in front of your eyes from 10 a.m. until noon. Paint Main 2.0 will showcase artists competing in a fast-paced paint-out in the center of Gloucester in the village on Main Street. Prizes will be awarded on the Tabb House Lawn. Guests can buy paintings right off the easel from artists.
Like what you see? The paintings are for sale immediately afterward.
If being surrounded by so much beautiful art unleashes the inner artist in you, join renowned painter Larry Moore for a gallery talk on Sunday, June 13. The discussion on the Gloucester Colonial Courthouse Circle Green from 3 to 4:15 p.m. will focus on bringing out your inner artist. Questions encouraged. Light refreshments available.
Tune into the online premiere of a mini-documentary on the T.C. Walker mural, a Facebook Live event at 7 p.m., on June 19 to learn about the life and lasting impact of Thomas Calhoun Walker Jr. Artist Michael Rosato will share details about the legacy of the first African-American lawyer in Gloucester, a visionary born a slave less than a year before President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation. Study Rosato’s mural, commissioned by the Cook Foundation at 6769 Main St., the entrance to Gloucester Village.
If you’ve gotten to Saturday, June 26 and still haven’t decided on your first purchase, stop by the Last Chance Review at Arts on Main from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Bring home your favorite from the festival and enjoy specialty “farewell” treats.
U.S. Navy Fleet Forces Band will close out the festival with a free concert on the lawn at Main Street and Walter Reed Way. Bring lawn chairs or a blanket.
Gloucester Arts Festival includes several ticketed events in addition to all the free ones. View a complete schedule of events at gloucesterartsfestival.com.