In imploring us to support local artists, R. Thomas Berner offered good suggestions about where to buy artwork beyond the annual Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts (CDT, 7/31).
However, he also unfairly and dismissively characterized this event as “… an annual exhibit of expensive arts and crafts offered by itinerant artists on a circuit of festivals around the country.”
I’m a local artist and I’ve participated in the CPFA for more than a decade, selling everything from $35 reproductions to large, original paintings. Mr. Berner’s unfortunate description of our festival ignores the fact that event organizers reserve many juried spaces specifically for local artists. Thanks to this provision, I got my start as an outdoor art show artist in 2005.
That first experience taught me a lot, and the support I received from our local community helped me build my business into one that now takes me to art shows throughout the eastern United States. None of this would have been possible without the opportunity CPFA gave me, and which it continues to offer to other local artists.
Finally, it’s worth noting that the “itinerant artists” who participate in CPFA are extremely hard-working entrepreneurs who risk a lot to travel here at considerable cost and share their work in all sorts of weather and circumstances. While not all of it may fit our budgets and tastes, their participation draws thousands of visitors to our local economy each July, benefiting area restaurateurs, hoteliers and more.
What could be more “local” than that?
Sarah Pollock, Port Matilda