Art — Art In The Park

A bigger and better Art in the Park


By Michelle Saturley []

This year’s Art in the Park show, hosted by the Manchester Artists Association and held at Veterans Park on Elm Street, is considerably larger than last year’s. 

The MAA will feature works by more than 60 artists at the two-day show, and will take up more space in Veterans Park to accommodate the expansion.

Larry Donovan, Vice President of the MAA and this year’s Art in the Park chair, said that other things have changed too—for the better.

“We had some complaints last year that there were groups of young people hanging out at the entrance to the park, using profanity that offended some of the attendees,” he said. “It’s a public park, and those people have every right to be there, so what we did to accommodate our people is to move the entrance to the art show to the Central Street side of the park. We’re more centrally located in the park this year.”

The MAA has worked closely with FOR Manchester, whose Mill City Festival is held the same weekend, so that the two events will enhance each other.

“There will be trolleys taking people back and forth between Veterans Park and Arms Park so people don’t feel like they have to choose one or the other for fear of missing out on anything,” Donovan said. “It’s been fun working with Jane Beaulieu [of FOR Manchester] this year. It really is a great example of two organizations working together and helping each other.” Other MAA-affiliated artists will be set up at the Festival as well.

In addition to shuttling people between the two parks, the trolleys will also transport people to the Wine and Cheese Festival at the Radisson hotel on Elm Street and the Bug Ball at the Amoskeag Fishways.

“It’s a way to connect all these events and give families some alternatives for the weekend,” Donovan said. “It also makes the parking situation a lot easier for people who want to attend all of the festivities in one day.”

For Donovan, one of the best parts of the Art in the Park show is the opportunity to see both established and emerging artists share the spotlight. He cites last year’s “Best in Show” winner, Jim Wayman, as a perfect example. Prior to the show, Wayman’s paintings were virtually unknown. He hopes that the public will discover another unknown talent this year.

“We have many returning favorites, people that everyone in the art community knows and admires,” he said. “Randy Knowles, and Sally Gordon Shea, for example. But we also have some up-and-coming folks to keep an eye on. One of my favorites is Karen Hovey, a watercolor artist who does a lot of night scenes. Another artist to watch for is Mai Ly, an oil painter who is currently working on a portrait of Mayor Baines. Her work is exceptional.”

Although Donovan admits that the work involved in preparing for the show has been demanding, there is one job he thinks is even tougher: judging the artists in the show.

“I don’t envy them one bit,” he said.

The Art in the Park Show will be held Saturday and Sunday, September 11 and 12, in Veterans Memorial Park, located on Elm Street between Merrimack and Central streets. The show will run from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day. All exhibited pieces will be for sale to the general public. For more information, visit

—Michelle Saturley


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