Saturday, September 23, 2023

Art on the Square Returning to Williamsburg After Two Years

Art on the Square will feature over 80 artists and a variety of vendors. (Courtesy of the Junior Woman’s Club of Williamsburg)

WILLIAMSBURG — For the first time in two years, Colonial Williamsburg will see the return of a local art show featuring a variety of artists and vendors.

The 57th Annual Art on the Square art show will be held on Sunday, April 24 in Colonial Williamsburg along N. Boundary and Scotland streets.

Art on the Square will feature over 80 artists and numerous local vendors. The community will have the opportunity to shop and support the artists.

The event is hosted by the Junior Woman’s Club of Williamsburg (JWCW), a volunteer organization for civic-minded women in their twenties, thirties, and forties.

The club supports various charitable organizations and community services through financial and volunteer assistance with a focus on a variety of areas including arts, education, and health.

Art on the Square is the club’s largest fundraising event hosted each year.

“We’re so excited to be back for another year of Art on the Square,” Meghan Robbins, president of JWCW, said. “We’re thrilled to see interest from new and returning artists and this year holds a special place in our hearts as we honor the late Richard DePaul, our featured artist for more than 20 years.”

DePaul painted “The Tulip Path,” his last painting for Art on the Square before his passing in 2020.

Proceeds from artist booth fees and raffle ticket sales are donated to visual and performing arts organizations in the Greater Williamsburg area, including the Richard DePaul Memorial Scholarship.

The event will see a number of returning artists this year, including Susan Bock, a Richmond-based artist whose oil painting techniques bring historic and black and white images to life.

“I’m a black and white photographer, and I used to hand-tint my own work,” Bock said. “At least 15 years ago, I started restoring and hand-tinting historic images, which is what I display. They were so popular, I kind of got lost in it. And, of course, it suits Williamsburg really well.”

Bock, who has participated in Art on the Square for approximately 10 years, said that she enjoys connecting with visitors over her work.

“It’s awesome to be in the studio working on my pieces, but the fun part is being there displaying it and talking to people,” she said. “I think the images always bring up conversations because it’s nostalgic for people. It brings back really fond memories for people.”

Among Bock’s most popular works that will be on display is a section that highlights ordinary women doing extraordinary things.

“I didn’t put famous women in it. I put ordinary women who are playing baseball, or were suffragettes,” she said.

This will be New York artist Lillian Forziat’s second year at Art on the Square. Lillian and her husband and business partner, Cliff, first attended in 2019; the last Art on the Square before it was canceled due to the pandemic.

Her work includes oil painting landscapes, still life, and seascapes. Her most popular works are her seashell, fruits, and vegetable portraits.

“Williamsburg is a very traditional, historic area, and my work is very traditional. I think it goes well there,” she said.

Visitors will be able to view and purchase Lillian’s work, including her original framed oil paintings.

Lillian and Cliff look forward to reconnecting with former customers and meeting new people.

“I love when people come into my tent and I watch where their eyes gravitate to because I have so many different subjects,” Lillian said. “I like to see what they’re most interested in. I used to do galleries, and they’re kind of a middle man. I like being at the shows because the middle man is gone and I can connect with the customers.”

The couple said that an event like Art on the Square is vital to the community.

“Art should touch you personally and it should make a connection with people, and the fact that [the Junior Woman’s Club] is also making a connection with the community is very special,” Cliff said.

“They’re making art available to the average person,” Lillian added.

Art on the Square is free and open to the public. Visitors can also purchase raffle tickets at the JWCW tent to win an original DePaul painting.

For more information about the show and this year’s Art on the Square artists, visit the website for the JWCW.

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