Autumn Arts Festival pulls together City Park venues

September 13, 2007|By TIFFANY ARNOLD

Jonathan Hager Frontier Craft Days - once regarded as the city's longest-running craft fair - will be replaced by the first Autumn Arts Festival on Saturday and Sunday at Hagerstown's City Park.

Unlike Frontier Craft Days, which centered events around Jonathan Hager House and Museum, the new festival will feature events at Washington County Museum of Fine Arts, Mansion House Art Gallery and Hagerstown Railroad Museum, as well as Hager House.

Organizers said they hope the expanded, unified effort will result in more visitors to their venues throughout the year and are anticipating 1,600 visitors this weekend.

It might be the first time all four of the venues have collaborated on a single event, organizers said.

"I can't remember there being anything like this since I've been there," said Marjorie Tressler, president of the Valley Arts Association, which runs Mansion House.


John Bryan, the city's historic sites facilitator, said events at Hager House still will fall under the same theme as Frontier Craft Days, which for 34 years highlighted the 18th-century traditions and crafts from the time of Hagerstown's founder, Jonathan Hager.

Roughly 50 artists, craft and food vendors are expected at the Hager House grounds. Other activities include lectures at the Railroad Museum and artists painting outside of Washington County Museum of Fine Arts and Mansion House.

Artist Bob Wantz of Hagerstown will be doing landscapes in the art museum's parking lot.

"People like to watch people paint - even if it's a door or something like that," said Wantz, a teacher at the art museum. "I might do a snow scene. It might cool people off a bit."

Wantz has spent nearly half his life working as a professional artist. Watercolor is his medium of choice.

"You don't know what's going to happen when the pigment hits the paper. That's what makes it exciting," Wantz said of watercolor painting. "It's sort of serendipity, discovery by accident."

Painter Ski Holm will join Wantz at the art museum. Tressler said 10 artists will be painting at Mansion House.

Autumn Arts Festival schedule

Events are scheduled at Washington County Museum of Fine Arts, Mansion House Art Gallery, Hagerstown Railroad Museum and Hager House from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Hay rides will transport people between venues. City Park concession stand will be open both days.

At Jonthan Hager House and Museum

Throughout the day, craft and food vendors will be on hand. There also will be a French and Indian War encampment.

Events on Saturday and Sunday include:

· 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. -discounted tours of Hager House. Adult admission, $2. Tours start every half-hour.

· Noon to 4 p.m. - pony rides; petting zoo; a "Little Heiskell" re-enactor; and Appalachian music

Saturday-only events:

· Noon and 2 p.m. - music by Flat Foot Holler

· Noon and 2 p.m. - music by Furnace Mountain

· 1 and 3 p.m. - music by Voxology

· 1 and 3 p.m. - music by Mary Dailey

At Mansion House Art Gallery

Events on Saturday and Sunday include:

· 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. - 10 art demonstrators on Mansion House porch; Civil War re-enactors

Sunday-only events include:

· 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. - children's art activities; artwork created at the event will be displayed at the gallery for two weeks

Washington County Museum of Fine Arts

Saturday-only events

· 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. - Children's activities: leaf printing, watercolor butterflies, "My Name" art center and scratch art; balloon sculpting and face painting; musical performances at the museum's Lakeside Garden.

· Noon - Ballet and All That Jazz performs

· 1 p.m. - Smithsburg High School Jazz Ensemble performs

Sunday-only events:

· Noon - magician Hugh McVeagh performs

· 2:30 p.m. - music by rock band Too Human

At Hagerstown Railroad Museum

Saturday and Sunday events include:

· Noon to 4 p.m. - barrel cart train rides

· 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. - "Operation Lifesaver," a train safety program; model railroad/signal displays; caboose tours/guest speaker; museum open for tours

If you go ...

WHAT: Autumn Arts Festival

WHEN: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 15, and Sunday, Sept. 16

WHERE: City Park, Hagerstown

COST: Free admission

MORE: For more information about the Autumn Arts Festival, call 301-739-8393.

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