Saturday, December 2, 2023

Yorktown’s annual art show pushes deadline in hopes to find more participants

The sixth annual At at the River art show has pushed back its application deadline after fewer artists than expected have submitted. (Photo courtesy of York County)
The sixth annual At at the River art show has pushed back its application deadline after fewer artists than expected have submitted. (Photo courtesy of York County)

Visitors to the Art at the River Juried Art Show might be surprised to see a few less artists than usual this year.

The original date for submissions was Jan. 14 but has been pushed back by two weeks to Jan. 28 after the committee received fewer than expected applications.

“While this gives artists less competition for sales and prizes, it limits the public’s choice,” said Maydel Nelson, committee chairwoman for the event. “We would like to give as many artists as possible (the opportunity) to show their work.”

Typically, by the time applications are due there are about 45 artist submissions. This year, there have only been 33 and Nelson said a lot of artists who have featured work at the show for years will not be participating this year.

One possible reason for that is the event on May 5 also coincides with the Arts in the Park Show in Richmond, Nelson said. The Arts in the Park Show is a larger event with more than 450 artists, according to the event’s website said.

But Nelson is still hoping local artists decide to show their artwork at the Arts on the River event so people in the community can experience their neighbor’s hard work.

“It’s good to have these kind of cultural things in the community,” she said.

However, another possible reason for application decline could be that in the past the deadline had usually been Jan. 30. But this year the event’s committee decided it would be better to move up the date to get a head-start on preparing promotional materials, said Kristi Olsen, tourism development manager for Yorktown.

By pushing back the deadline, she said the committee is reverting back to the original deadline used in previous years because it seemed to give artists more time.

To apply for the Art at the River event, artists have to submit an application with their work and a $30 fee. This has been consistent throughout the event’s history and Nelson said very rarely is an artist turned away.

Artists can win a number of prizes as well as sell their work to the public. Nelson said they are expecting about 1,500 locals to be in attendance this year.

“This effort continues to build on existing partnerships, events and projects in the Historic Triangle to further promote arts and bring awareness of high quality art to the community,” Olsen said.

Art at the River Juried Art Show will be from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on May 5. The event is free to the public.

Alexa Doiron
Alexa Doiron
Alexa Doiron is a multimedia reporter for WYDaily. She graduated from Roanoke College and is currently working on a master’s degree in English at Virginia Commonwealth University. Alexa was born and raised in Williamsburg and enjoys writing stories about local flair. She began her career in journalism at the Warhill High School newspaper and, eight years later, still loves it. After working as a news editor in Blacksburg, Va., Alexa missed Williamsburg and decided to come back home. In her free time, she enjoys reading Jane Austen and playing with her puppy, Poe. Alexa can be reached at

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