Annapolis' strolling art festival has last lap for the season

Arundel Live


With a free-spirited atmosphere reminiscent of similar, more famous events in New York City, Annapolis' First Sunday Arts Festival ended its fourth season this week with pedestrians strolling along West Street, admiring artisans' wares that had replaced traffic.

Coordinator Pam Godfrey said this year's First Sunday festival, which began in May, was the first for which the city of Annapolis had specifically banned vehicles from West Street.

Some 30 vendors participated, with art demonstrations everywhere, she said.

"This is a great place to see friends and support artists and artisans, the majority of whom are local," said Godfrey, who is also the general manager of the Annapolis Chorale and a flutist with the Annapolis Chamber Orchestra. "We also have live music, all supported by a grant from Art in Public Places, which proves we're getting the message out. Good things are happening, like the steady growth of this event, which we want to limit in size and keep free of charge."

On Sunday, umbrellas lined West Street, marking various vendor displays that generally celebrated the fall season. Items, many of them handmade, ranged from brightly colored scarves to exquisite holiday linens to costume jewelry.

Several shops played host to artists who talked about their work. At the A La Mode lingerie boutique, Eastport artist Diane Jerue exhibited in a tiny space where she greeted visitors. Her whimsical paintings depicted free-spirited women enjoying life with their pets and occupied in mundane chores like vacuuming - but doing it with panache dressed in swimsuits.

At ARTFX, Megan Evans presided over a seasonal display of her pottery jack-o'-lantern patch that she quipped is "guaranteed not to rot." Evans has ensured a September-through-November season for her pumpkins by fashioning jack-o'-lanterns on one side and smooth pumpkins on the other, which can be illuminated by tea lights.

At the end of the block is Tin Can Allee, a shop filled with what are described as "essentials for your hearth and soul." Here, Tina Leong made her debut as an artist, showing her pastel charcoal drawings, some embellishing old newspapers. Dubbed "good news from Tina," Leong explained that when she started her art studies four years ago, her teacher suggested that she use newspapers as a less expensive alternative to sketch pads. Exhibiting her art on both backgrounds, Leong's Halloween cats and martini glasses with giant olives took on a unique funky quality on newspaper backgrounds.

At 49 West, artist Cheryl Peterson's portraits were more than mere likenesses capturing the essence of celebrities ranging from John Travolta to Nelson Mandela to Kate Winslow.

Whether contemplating fall or next spring, First Sunday on West Street is an experience to savor and one to look forward to when it returns in May.

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.