ALEXANDRIA,VA- Art on the Avenue, Del Ray’s signature arts festival, returns to Mount Vernon Avenue on Sat., Oct. 5 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The volunteer-run event is one of the top art events in the region, featuring over 350 artists, four stages of live entertainment, international food, a pie-baking contest, children’s activities, and more.
“I cannot wait for Art on the Ave this year,” said artist Annie O’Bryan of Native Swell. “It is the show I look forward to all year: the quality of art is exceptional, the volunteers are phenomenal and the customers become friends. It is truly special.”
With over 350 artists, artisans and craftspeople participating, the multicultural arts festival has something for everyone, every gift occasion, and every budget. Here are our Z Picks for can’t miss artists:
After seeing how a plain red cape and cardboard mask transformed her three-year-old nephew, Holly Hagan decided she wanted to give other children that same sense of empowerment. A long-time Art on the Avenue favorite, Creative Capes features satin capes and accessories with the child’s first initial on their cape — “teaching them they are unique.” “Watching children burst with pride, self-esteem and happiness when they slipped on their own custom cape and accessories made me realize how impactful a cape could be,” said Hagen. “It brings me great joy to help kids realize their inner strengths, encourage active play, good citizenship and stimulate their imaginations.”
While working in a small production tile workshop, Parran Collery discovered her love of sculpture and decorative arts came together — and now focuses full-time on the art of tile. “My work takes the form of small intimate tiles, mosaics, residential commissions, and public mural installations, both of my own work and of facilitated student murals,” said Collery. “In all of this work, I strive to create compelling designs that invite people to love tiles. By representing images within the rarefied form of a tile or mosaic, I hope to make our sense of the everyday more precious and profound. Art every day!”
Eliza Rose Creative Art
The Zadareky sisters Abby, 12, and Paige, 11 are returning for their second year at Art on the Avenue. The Browne Academy students, who take art classes at the Torpedo Factory, specialize in dog note cards. “We love animals — especially dogs,” said Abby and Paige. “Our yellow lab Ranger is a big inspiration.” Do good while supporting two up-and-coming Alexandria artists — the sisters are donating a portion of each sale to the Animal Welfare League of Alexandria.
While living on a ranch in Montana, Ginger Reuling learned how to weld — and soon began her career as an artist, working first with metal sculpture and eventually with birdhouses. Reuling’s husband builds the houses from pine or cedar, while she cuts the copper roofs and motif by hand with a plasma torch. Together, they paint them with exterior stains and decorate with a wide variety of copper designs. “Our main goal is to create art that is unique, happy, and functional for birds,” said Reuling. “Hopefully folks will look out on a drab gray winter day and smile at that splash of color that’s a reminder of spring.”
Jiri Kalina was born in Czechoslovakia, where he learned woodworking from his father and grandfather, who was well known for his restoration of church artifacts. In addition to showcasing his popular serving, eating, and coffee spoons at this year’s Art on the Avenue, the North Carolina-based artist is transforming walnut salvaged from trees damaged by Hurricane Florence into cutting boards. “I was always drawn to wood as a child, so it seems natural to me to adopt my love of nature into kitchen implements are the true expression of useful art as a result,” said Kalina. “I get a lot of my inspiration from other wood enthusiasts and woodworkers, my father’s work and my ancestors, but most of my inspiration comes from Mother Nature herself, and the myriad of natural shapes and form she provides.”
Janis Johnston creates a wide variety of women’s hats for every head size and price point, featuring a contemporary twist on the 1920’s cloche hat using wool, felt, velvet and more. “Hats have always been a passion. My work is inspired by the styles made popular by Downton Abbey and Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries, a time when hats were at their most becoming to women,” she said. “Yes, you too can wear a hat! Come by and try on different styles to find your most flattering style.”
Lynda Poole Prioleau is a quilt artist specializing in garments, 3D fiber sculptures and hand-dyed fabrics. At this year’s Art on the Avenue — her 14th! — she’ll feature “positive graffiti” wall pieces, along with hand-dyed and painted silk scarves. “Often I find inspiration when I’m on long walks or biking. Travel has been a great source of inspiration, also. I love seeing the architecture, textures and art in other countries,” said Prioleau.
After moving to Hatteras Island eight years ago, Annie O’Bryan started beading bracelets, using her living room as a storefront — and drawing inspiration from the sea, choosing materials both for their aesthetic and healing energies. “I have always been especially inspired by vintage pieces and I am working some of those influences into my current work. I love when I make a piece and it looks as though it has already lived and traveled and has a unique story,” said O’Bryan. “I do wake up some days and ask myself, ‘what on earth are you doing?’ but then I sit at the bench and make something that excites me and I am reminded. To think that a piece you made could be around for a hundred years is mind-blowing.”
For a complete schedule and list of artists and activities, visit www.artontheavenue.org.