Return of the Outdoor Art Festival

Published 10:53 am Tuesday, April 24, 2018

On Saturday, May 5, the Outdoor Arts Festival will return to the Longwood University campus. According to Martha Louis, an avid supporter of the arts and Buckingham County, “Beginning back in the mid-1970s, the Central Virginia Chapter of the Virginia Museum of the Fine Arts (now the Central Virginia Arts or CVA) established the goal to bring the arts to the people of central Virginia. The first show had 95 artists, and in 1976, it moved to the Longwood College campus with 75 artists. It held to that number of artists for 20 plus years.”

In 2015, Martha Louis and Tom Dennison, then-president of the CVA, went to a Heart of Virginia (HOV) Board of Directors meeting to try to revive the show as it had declined to only six or so artists. With the support of CVA and persistence of Martha Louis, the show now has around 40 visual artists who grace the lawn along with a booth from Waterworks Players and some literary entries.

“The goal is to get back to at least 60 visual artists and expand the other arts participation on the lawn to include dance, acoustic music, theater and readings,” Louis said.

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The CVA supports the show by providing the much sought after Best of Show Award with a prize and by providing a traditional reception for the artists after the show. “Both of these donations make the show special for the artists,” Louis added. Artists interested in participating in future Outdoor Arts Festivals should contact Martha Louis, or the CVA at:info@