FREDERICK, Md. (WDVM) — More than 130 artists lined Carroll Creek Park in Downtown Frederick for the annual Frederick Arts Festival, an event that was, like many others, canceled last year due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Ted Robinson is a board member on the Frederick Arts Council and explained the organization only had about four weeks to plan for this year’s festival. He stated the organization was able to use aspects that had already been planned for last year’s festival and implement them during this year’s festival.
“It’s been a fun time this last couple of days for the vendors for all the patrons who have come out,” Robinson said. “I think people are really just ready to get back out and engage, you know, we feel that the art is such a huge part of the community. It’s a great reflective of the great community of Frederick.”
The Frederick Arts Council invited artists from across the DMV area but also extended invitations to national and international artists, allowing patrons to interact with the creator while viewing their work. Robinson explained the Frederick Arts Council wanted to showcase as many artists and mediums as possible. This year’s festival featured painters and photographers as well as jewelers, metal workers, and potters.
Merrilee Harrigan is a Washington D.C.-based artist who creates art and jewelry using glass and other metals. She was a vendor during the 2019 Frederick Arts Festival and was excited to see people enjoying the festival.
“This just makes me happy and I feel very supported as an artist, and especially as a local artist that people are so interested in local art and supporting local artists, as well as just appreciating art,” Harrigan said.
Richard Hilgendorff traveled all the way from Portland, Maine to showcase his art and photography at the festival. He explained the past year has taken a toll on everyone, especially artists who were unable to travel to showcase their work. He was overjoyed to be around others who enjoy and appreciate art as much as he does.
“It’s fabulous. I mean, the last year, it’s been devastating. I mean mentally, physically, financially, the whole [bit], they ran the gamut, it’s been really, really tough,” Hilgendorff said. “So to be back working again and talking to people, like minded people [who] are just so into the arts, it’s just… Yeah, like I said I’m busting.”
Frederick Arts Festival first-timers Debbie and Michael Opiekun are no strangers to art and craft shows. The Clarksburg, Md. residents were excited to peruse the booths after the pandemic kept them away from admiring the creations of the artists. Michael explained the pair usually visit Frederick for the craft fairs and for the Christmas Fair in December. He was excited to explore the festival.
“I have craft fair withdrawals from COVID,” Debbie Opiekun said. “It’s being able to come out and finally enjoy art, both the pottery, the jewelry, the paintings, the photography, it’s just a wonderful.”
The Frederick Arts Council has held the annual arts festival for over 25 years and looks forward to its 28th annual arts festival next year.