Weir Farm art festival draws hundreds

A record-breaking crowd of nearly 600 people visited Weir Farm National Historic Site on Sunday, Aug. 25, for the third annual Art in the Park festival and art contest. That is almost three times the number who attended the first festival in 2017.

According to park ranger Kristin Lessard, 180 people used free art supplies provided by the park to paint en plein air as American impressionist Julian Alden Weir did. The 68-acre site is a portion of what was Weir’s home a century ago. It is the only national historic site to offer the home, studio, and grounds of an important late 19th-century American artist.

About 120 visited the collage station in the Burlingham barn where they were able to use paints and printmaking supplies to create works of art. A Junior Ranger station was also set up.

Hundreds more visited the studios where Weir, and after him resident artists Mahonri Young and Sperry and Doris Andrews worked. Some 300 toured the restored Weir house.

Artists Dmitri Wright and Bobbi Eike Mullen offered demonstrations every half hour on encaustic painting, poured acrylics, wood block printmaking, watercolor and oil painting and other topics.

Works of art were on display throughout the day and about 70 people entered the art contest. All entries may be part of an exhibition at the G&B Cultural Center at 49 New Street during September.

The festival was presented by Weir Farm, Friends of Weir Farm, the Weir Farm Art Center and G&B Cultural Center.