SARATOGA SPRINGS As SaratogaArtsFest celebrates its sixth year, the visual arts program is changing. This year’s main events are a four-person juried exhibit at the festival's headquarters and the debut of the Beekman Street Art Fair.
Takeyce Walter, Marsha Connell, Phil Scalia and Jack Metzger will be showing their artwork in the ArtsFest center and gallery in the former House of Creative Soul gallery on Van Dam Street.
Connell creates semi-abstracted oil landscapes, Metzger uses found objects to make sculptural assemblages, Scalia is an artist/photographer and Walter paints pastel and oil landscapes.
The Beekman Street Art Fair, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday, is a juried fine art and craft fair featuring local and regional artists who will set up booths along the street and do demonstrations. Family-friendly entertainment is planned under a big tent, and food and refreshments will be available from food trucks.
For the first time since ArtsFest began, there will not be a “Paint Out,” the popular outdoor event in which artists set up their easels downtown and create art on the street.
"We're taking a year off. The visual arts component is being tweaked," says Kathleen Lucey, coordinator of visual arts programming for SaratogaArtsFest.
According to Lucey, the visual arts program is being revamped, and next year there will be a new event that will include artist demonstrations.
Studio Walk, a behind-the-scenes look at artists' personal work spaces, is also not returning this year, after appearing on the schedule in 2010 and 2011.
“We're giving the artists a break,” explains Lucey.
Admission to all exhibits is free and does not require an ArtsPass.
With an ArtsPass, there are discounts at The Hyde Collection, Saratoga Springs History Museum, National Museum of Dance and Children's Museum at Saratoga. Admission to The Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery is free. Regular admission is required at the Saratoga Automobile Museum and National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame.
Other visual arts events and information:
• Saratoga Clay Arts Center, which opened last year in Schuylerville, is a new ArtsFest participant, and artist/owner Jill Fishon-Kovachick will be giving tours. The center's Schacht Gallery is showing the work of ceramic artist Mitch Messina.
• The Saratoga Schools Student Art Exhibition returns for a third year, and for a second time it will be held at Universal Preservation Hall.
• Other galleries that are new to ArtsFest include Silverwood, 24 Caroline St., operated by Charlene Wood Courtney, daughter of the late theme park creator Charles R. Wood, and Charlene's daughter Chelsea Hoopes Silver; and Sharon Crute Fine Art, equine art, at 70B Beekman St. Mimosa, formerly on Beekman Street, will be showing off its new space at 489 Broadway.
• Trashion, a fashion show of clothing made of recycled materials by high-school students, returns for a third year at 2 p.m. Sunday in the Teaching Auditorium at Saratoga Springs High School.
• Glassblowing demonstrations will be held at Gary Zack Studio on Bolster Lane and Van Dam Street.
• Artist Francelise Dawkins is inviting everyone to add a piece of fabric to a Community Rainbow Wheel at Feenex Boutique and Gallery, 30 Beekman St.
• Several Saratoga Springs restaurants and shops will be showing work by local artists.
• Yellow is the color of the 2012 ArtsPass, a small handmade ceramic tile that can be worn as a necklace during the event.