Event: Saturday, October 12 from 11am to 6pm and Sunday, October 13 from 10am to 5pm
On Saturday, October 12, Bethesda Row’s Arts and Entertainment District will transform into a massive outdoor art gallery featuring ceramics, drawing, fiber, glass, printmaking, jewelry, metalwork, painting, photography, sculpture, and other disciples from over 200 carefully jury-selected artists around the country. The 22nd Annual Bethesda Row Arts Festival, which has been recognized as one of the most important art events in the country by Art Fair Sourcebook and Sunshine Artists will run from Saturday, October 12 (11am-6pm) to Sunday, October 13, (10am-5pm) hosting nearly 50,000 art-loving patrons from around the area.
This year’s festival will have an injection of energy from its new Co-Directors Jon Gann and Jim Taglauer. They have increased the standards of artist acceptance, facilitating a discerning jury selection process. Because of this, 45% of the artists are new to the festival and many new to exhibiting in the region. For loyal visitors, this means a return of their favorites with the addition of countless new art to experience. In addition, because both Gann and Taglauer come from the film festival world, they will provide a more curated experience than past years, with an emphasis on technology, storytelling and personal connections.
“Art is incredibly personal, both for the artists who create it and the collectors who display it in their homes. Too often today, people purchase mass-produced home decor at discount stores without knowing anything about the process or the person who created it. Art festivals like this allow people to bring meaning to the items that make their space a home,” says Gann, Festival Co-Director.
This personal connection will be especially nurtured this year for the inaugural stARTer gallery, a cluster of tents that will take over Bethesda Lane, featuring local, emerging artists showcasing their works to first-time and novice art collectors. To assist with the process, student art curators from local universities will be on-hand to ensure connections with the artists are personal and meaningful. In an effort to inspire art-appreciation and creation at a young age, children are encouraged to participate in hands-on family programming such as spin art and other crafts.
Also new this year is a relaunched website where visitors can learn about each individual artist with a feature that includes photos of their work, short bios, and links to their website and social media feeds. “We’re excited for people to learn about the artists before they come,” says Jim Taglauer, “We want to use technology to help people connect in real life.”
The Festival is free and open to the public. More information is available at www.bethesdarowarts.org. A special art sale will benefit DC Strings and youth programming at Glen Echo Park Partnership for Arts and Culture, thanks to generous donations from participating artists.
The outdoor street festival will take place rain or shine along Woodmont and Bethesda Avenues, Elm Street and Bethesda Lane, east of Arlington Road, in Bethesda, Maryland 20814. It is within easy walking distance from the Bethesda Metro (Red Line) station. Free and paid parking garages are located around the site. With numerous restaurants and cafes, the popular destination offers more than 50 dining options during the Festival.