The 48th annual Mount Gretna Art Show welcomed nearly 9,000 people through its gates on August 20-21.
The Pennsylvania Chautauqua, a non-profit organization, presents the Rain-or-Shine Art Exhibit. According to its website, the organization’s mission is “the advancement of literary, scientific, intellectual, physical and social well-being and the promotion of cultural and religious activities, recreation and entertainment”.
“Chautauqua uses the power of art to build community,” said Kerry Royer, director of the Mount Gretna Outdoor Art Show. “We offer a variety of fabulous art, gourmet food, live music and artistic engagements for children. The show has something for everyone.”
Tickets for this year’s art show are $12 for ages 12 and older. Admission was free for under 12s.
While the art show takes place every year on the third full weekend in August, the organizational process behind it begins in the autumn before.
“The show is judged by professional artists and educators,” Royer said. “We start accepting applications in November every year. All categories will be judged by medium and the best will be invited to exhibit at our show.”
During the art fair, jurors appraise the exhibitors live. The 30 best exhibitors will automatically receive an invitation to the following year’s art fair.
Exhibitors offer paintings, photographs, prints, fabrics, jewelry, sculptures, soaps and more.
The 2022 Mount Gretna Art Show hosted 200 exhibitors from a national pool of artists.
“This year has been fresh,” Royer said. “We had 50 exhibitors – ‘new artists’ – who had never exhibited at Mount Gretna before.”
In the week leading up to the art show, exhibitors new to the area and those with familiar faces carefully load their vehicles with artworks.
“One story I was told was that there was an artist who drove from a big New England city,” Royer said. “He said he was wondering as he drove through corn fields and then through a forest how many people come to this show. Then almost 9,000 people came. He had an amazing response to his work and already said he would like to come back to our charming place next summer to participate again.”
Hershey Pantry, Hershey Bistro, What If… Hershey, Gosia’s Pierogies, The Oasis and Urban Olive were some of this year’s food court options.
The Mount Gretna Art Show has been named one of the “200 Best” nationwide by Sunshine Artist Magazine for over a decade. The show was ranked number 38 in classic and contemporary craft in 2022.
So what is the secret behind the nationally successful art show? Royer claims it’s a village.
“The show brings something rare and special to Mount Gretna as we celebrate the arts in our community,” said Royer. “Volunteers from every neighborhood in Mount Gretna are coming out in full force to support the show. We simply couldn’t put on a national show like this without the help of our volunteers, emergency services, fire department, county, police and relief workers. We are so happy that year after year people want to be part of this great event.”
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