From left: MWV Arts Association Treasurer Fran Duncan, Gallery Director Rosemary Gerbutavich and Chair of the Program Committee Barbara Perry stand together in North Conway’s Schouler Park, where Art in the Park will be taking place, on July 27. Duncan holds a painting by the late Bob Gordon, and Gerbutavich and Perry hold their own art. (RACHEL SHARPLES PHOTO)
People weave in and out of the large tents set up for Art in the Park in North Conway’s Schouler Park last year. (RACHEL SHARPLES PHOTO)
Art-in-the-Park has been a cultural mainstay in Mount Washington Valley for 50 years. The MWV Arts Association is hosting the show, Aug. 6-7. Eileen Copeland, Louise O’Halloran and Sarah W. Eastman are seen at the show in about 1985. (STEVE EASTMAN/MOUNTAIN EAR PHOTO)
Art in the Park Co-Chair Sarah Eastman (left) and Chair Virginia Moore (right) smile together with some of their art outside the Mt. Washington Valley Arts Association’s gallery in North Conway Village on August 1. (RACHEL SHARPLES PHOTO)
Art in the Park co-chair Virginia Moore of Albany has long been known for her pet portraits but has expanded to work in other media, including vibrant alcohol ink and acrylic pours which she will be showing at Art in the Park, Aug. 6-7. (COURTESY PHOTO)
Late local artist Ernie Brown of Conway is seen showing his work at the 11th annual Arts Festival in North Conway’s Schouler Park in August 1983. (TOM EASTMAN/MOUNTAIN EAR PHOTO)
The 2018 Art in the Park “Best of Show” winner Forrest Falcey with his large still life. A new addition his year will be a judges tent, where the entries will be displayed. (COURTESY PHOTO)

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From left: MWV Arts Association Treasurer Fran Duncan, Gallery Director Rosemary Gerbutavich and Chair of the Program Committee Barbara Perry stand together in North Conway’s Schouler Park, where Art in the Park will be taking place, on July 27. Duncan holds a painting by the late Bob Gordon, and Gerbutavich and Perry hold their own art. (RACHEL SHARPLES PHOTO)
People weave in and out of the large tents set up for Art in the Park in North Conway’s Schouler Park last year. (RACHEL SHARPLES PHOTO)
Art-in-the-Park has been a cultural mainstay in Mount Washington Valley for 50 years. The MWV Arts Association is hosting the show, Aug. 6-7. Eileen Copeland, Louise O’Halloran and Sarah W. Eastman are seen at the show in about 1985. (STEVE EASTMAN/MOUNTAIN EAR PHOTO)
Art in the Park Co-Chair Sarah Eastman (left) and Chair Virginia Moore (right) smile together with some of their art outside the Mt. Washington Valley Arts Association’s gallery in North Conway Village on August 1. (RACHEL SHARPLES PHOTO)
Art in the Park co-chair Virginia Moore of Albany has long been known for her pet portraits but has expanded to work in other media, including vibrant alcohol ink and acrylic pours which she will be showing at Art in the Park, Aug. 6-7. (COURTESY PHOTO)
Late local artist Ernie Brown of Conway is seen showing his work at the 11th annual Arts Festival in North Conway’s Schouler Park in August 1983. (TOM EASTMAN/MOUNTAIN EAR PHOTO)
The 2018 Art in the Park “Best of Show” winner Forrest Falcey with his large still life. A new addition his year will be a judges tent, where the entries will be displayed. (COURTESY PHOTO)
CONWAY — The tents are back up in North Conway’s Schouler Park, and happening under those tents this weekend is the Mount Washington Valley Arts Association’s 50th Art in the Park, celebrating the visual arts along with crafts and jewelry.
The festival is being presented today from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. on Sunday. It’s free to attend, browse and get some great deals on original artworks and fine crafts.
Art in the Park includes juried members of the Mount Washington Valley Arts Association and other verified art associations.
Cash prizes and ribbons will be awarded for judged pieces in various categories. Last year’s event featured more than 50 artists and artisans, along with musicians and food vendors.
Sponsors include the Robert and Dorothy Goldberg Charitable Foundation, White Mountain Puzzles, Hannaford, the Berry Companies, White Mountain Oil and Propane, North Country Fair Jewelers, Settlers Green, The Conway Daily Sun, Minuteman Press, Vintage Frameworks, Big Dave’s Bagels and Deli, the Met Coffeehouse and WMWV 93.5-FM Radio.
“We’re expecting 50-60 artists in a variety of media,” said Sarah W. Eastman of Kearsarge, co-chair with Virginia Moore of this year’s show, which is expected to feature up to 2,000 pieces of art, ranging from watercolor, oil, acrylics, pastels, pen and ink, and photography to sculpture, jewelry and fine crafts.
There’s also mixed media, such as the fused art glass of Pam Sweeney of Jackson, longtime former proprietor with her husband Marty of the Wildcat Inn and Tavern, with whom she continues to run a catering business. You may even find painted wine glasses and other novelty items.
Adding to the fun will be food trucks, with artist Caren Hutchinson of Brownfield, Maine, in charge of coordinating that effort.
Vendors slated to be at the park are Linda’s Hot Dogs, Dave’s Kettlekorn, Mr. Twister the Pretzel Guy and Slushie on Wheels, joined by Smokin’ J’s on Sunday.
The show in recent years has featured music by entertainers such as Dennis & Davey and Jonathan Sarty.
This year’s festival will feature local disc jockey Kristen Corrigan of Magic 104 providing the tunes.
Radio station WMWV 93.5-FM also will be there Saturday morning.
According to Eastman and Moore, another new addition will be a judges tent to streamline the task of reviewing artists’ entries for “Best of Show” and other categories.
“That suggestion came from Peter Abate of Wakefield, who has been in charge of coordinating our judges for over 10 years, and he does a great job of it,” said Eastman.
“The idea is that rather than having to travel throughout the show, the judges can just have the entered pieces in one tent for judging,” she said.
Categories include 3-D (three-dimensional, such as sculpture), 2-D (two-dimensional, such as paintings and photography) and “Best of Show.”
“By having the works in one tent for the judges that will also let patrons know that these are the works that the artists feel is their best work so it’s convenient that way as well,” added Eastman, who is a retired art teacher and longtime artist who will be showing works, including of her recent trip to Venice as well as local landscapes and prints.
When she moved to the valley in 1983 after marrying Mountain Ear co-founder Steve Eastman (1949-2008), Sarah said she spotted a notice for a meeting of the MWV Arts Association. She went to the meeting, where she learned that MWVAA president Cindy Russell was leaving to become head of a new performing arts organization: Arts Jubilee, which is celebrating its 39th season with a series of five musical shows at Cranmore Mountain Resort through Aug. 11.
“My first meeting was Cindy’s last meeting — the MWVAA became a visual arts organization and Arts Jubilee’s focus was performing arts,” said Eastman.
She noted that the MWVAA’s first art shows were held not in Schouler Park but at other venues in town, including a “clothesline” show at the Eastern Slope Playhouse. It eventually was moved to the park in the early 1980s.
When the Main Street construction project took over downtown North Conway in summer 2005, the show was moved to Cranmore for a few years but eventually returned to the park.
It was not held in summer 2020 due to COVID social distancing concerns.
Jan Eskedal,a former longtime board member and past MWV Arts Association president, says back in the 1980s and ’90s, there was not a large community tent so artists put up a snow fence in Schouler Park on which to display their art.
“Rustic and subject to the elements but effective,” is how she described the fence.
“The artists were juried but were mostly MWVAA members, and the show was somewhat smaller than it is today. It was one day only and a much simpler event. It was mostly paintings back then without the fine crafts also included today … Art in the Park has endured through many changes of leadership and membership but remains much the same,” she said.
One of the veteran presenters is longtime landscape and ski photographer Bob Grant of Glen, a valley native who has a lifetime of prints from his many travels around the globe in search of that perfect picture, ranging from Denali in Alaska to Everest as well as of Mount Washington.
“I like to show my work at the show because I love to share it with viewers. Seeing them experience it is sort of like allowing me to experience it again, if what it was like for me when I first took the shot,” Grant, 72, told the Sun this week.
He said Mount Washington has always captivated
him because of its changing moods.
“It’s the light — and the clouds. It looks different every time,” said Grant.
Also sharing her art at the festival is Rosemary Gerbutavich of North Conway, who had the honor of creating this year’s Art in the Park poster.
“The poster is a watercolor that shows the tents, with the train station and the Moats in the background. I wanted it to not just show the arts but to include the environment as well, which I think is the essence of this show,” said Gerbutavich.
She moved to the valley from South Weymouth, Mass. in 2009 to be with partner Ron Crenshaw and then began taking classes with the MWVAA.
She won Best of Show the first time she participated in 2015 — pretty impressive, given she had only recently gotten back into art after choosing a nursing career in her younger years.
“I went into that show thinking I would not even sell a painting and lo and behold, I was shocked when they made the announcement on the speaker,” she recalled.
“I started taking art more seriously when I moved here in 2009. I am self-taught, but I have always been artistically inclined,” said Gerbutavich.
That painting was of a hummingbird hovering over a poppy — her paintings are known for how they flow off the mat and paper so that the painting is both on the watercolor paper itself and the surrounding mat.
Along with Eastman, she helped create murals at the new North Conway Public Library, now known as the Pope Library after an expansion and a recent renovation.
She sees Art in the Park as a chance to celebrate the camaraderie she has with fellow artists. “We all love selling a painting, of course — but it’s just as as exciting for me when I hear of another artist selling
their painting. It gives a boost to all of us,” said Gerbutavich, who, by the way, was chosen by Sun readers in the 2017 Best of the Valley people’s choice awards as best visual artist.
Gerbutavich said the arts complement and enhance the region’s draw.
“I think many people are drawn here for the outdoors, the hiking and the skiing, the biking and the kayaking — but the arts are also celebrated as a part of the social fabric, and I feel that that is growing,” she said.
Interviewed this week from her Albany home, Moore, who is a former graphic artist for The Mountain Ear and then executive director of the Conway Area Humane Society before focusing on doing pet portraits.
She has now broadened her scope to include a new form of expression which she says uses isopropanol alcohol and ink and acrylic paint and porous paper. “The alcohol ink kind of has a mind of its own and the colors are intense — I put it on glass in addition to the yupo (polypropylene) paper,” she explained.
She loves how the flow creates images — kind of like seeing faces in the clouds. “I even have seen a few pet images,” she laughed.
Moore said she loves the variety one finds at the show.
“I really like the diversity,” said Moore. “When I walk through the show, through the tents, I love to see the different ways that people express themselves. There’s fiber and wood and steel, not just watercolors and oils. I love that.”
Sharing her outlook on the fun of the show and the art camaraderie at a photo shoot at the park this week was artist Barbara Perry, who said, “It’s fun to be with fellow artists.”
Like many other artists at the show, Perry will be selling originals as well as many affordably priced prints.
“It’s just good to see everyone having fun. It’s always a good weekend,” she said.
Former MWVAA president J.P. Goodwin said in an email to the Sun that after some bumps a decade or so ago, the show has become a well-supported and well-organized volunteer event.
“Although it is a real stretch for the all volunteer MWVArts, staging Art in the Park has become ‘the arts signature’ event of the valley in the midst of the village where it belongs in spite
of difficult logistics. Attracting artists is a simple task now since there is so much support from the community and enthusiasm attached,” she said.
“As a member of ArtWorks Gallery of the Chocorua Creative Arts Center, my group has procured a booth space for the first time and we are enthused to present ourselves in the village at a renowned event,” she continued.
“Personally, it will be fun to participate as an artist, not having to administrate and manage the whole thing,” Goodwin said.
As for patrons, all they need to do is show up, view the art and jewelry, enjoy the food and music — and just maybe take home an artistic keepsake.
As the show’s poster designed by Gerbutavich notes, “Add a little ART to your life!”
The MWVAA also operates the Main Street Art Gallery at the Shops at Norcross Circle and displays art at The Met Coffeehouse in North Conway and Settlers Green.
For more information, go to mwvarts.org or call (603) 356-2787.
JACKSON — The White Mountain School of Art is the body of work created during the 19th century by more than 400 artists who painted landscape …
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