The School Newspaper of Winston Churchill High School.

The Observer

The School Newspaper of Winston Churchill High School.

The Observer

The School Newspaper of Winston Churchill High School.

The Observer

Fine Arts Festival brings color and creativity to Bethesda

Amelia DeHarts illustrations on display at booth #108. Her paintings, following a theme of wildflowers and water, are airy and whimsical.
Photo by Anne Ma
Amelia DeHart’s illustrations on display at booth #108. Her paintings, following a theme of wildflowers and water, are airy and whimsical.

Spring is out and about in Bethesda, and rounding the corner onto Auburn Avenue are stalls pitched side-by-side, each displaying unique artworks and styles. The Bethesda Fine Arts Festival presented an assortment of mixed-media stalls spanning several intersections featuring restaurants, entertainers and artists. It took place from May 11-12, and invited over 120 artists from all across the nation, offering an enjoyable Mother’s Day weekend for locals and art enthusiasts alike. 

Entrance to the festival was free of charge and attendees explored a variety of artists specializing in art forms from painting to glass sculpture. With the event starting at 10 a.m. and lasting several hours, visitors were able to leisurely walk through each art exhibit after which they could take a lunch break to enjoy downtown Bethesda’s many restaurants. The event was also a great place to scope out and purchase last-minute Mother’s Day gifts with many artists selling smaller-scale trinkets and canvases. 

With the artists in attendance coming from all over the country, this festival was an opportunity for people to find their new inspiration. Some of the artists invited were based in the DMV area which included mixed media artists such as Kate Norris and Amelia G. DeHart. Norris is from Baltimore, Md. and Dehart is from Lexington, Va.

Located at booth #19, Norris’ artwork attracted onlookers from left to right. Her art combines elements of the human condition with nature with many of her pieces featuring human or animal skulls decorated with plant growth. At first glance, her artwork is elegant, drawing one in to take a closer look where the observer will find tiny intricate details with a story of its own. Norris’ mixed media collages create a bittersweet feeling within the viewer by using old wallpapers and vintage colors. Norris’ art collection on anatomy shows her attention to detail and serves as an inspiration to anyone who comes across her work. 

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Drawing on nature and its tranquility, DeHart’s artwork often involves flowing shapes that create a serene scene of flowers. DeHart adds emotions onto her canvases by using oil and encaustic depicting sceneries that speak to the viewers. From water lilies to wildflowers, her artwork aims to mimic the flow of water. The abstract landscape paintings featured at booth #108 creates a sense of tranquility and ambiguity among viewers. The lingering memories and meanings behind DeHart’s artwork are left up to the interpreter, which makes her art collections a must-see for anyone interested. 

Aside from the assortment of artists from all backgrounds and mediums, the festival also offered attendees live entertainment from the region’s best musicians. A stage set up on Norfolk Avenue featured a variety of musicians such as award-winning singer Jarreau Williams. 

With this festival returning annually, it’s the perfect afternoon activity for art enthusiasts and casual viewers alike. The Fine Arts Festival also featured local restaurants which gives attendees an excellent opportunity to support local businesses and small artists. With the spring warmth rolling in, the festival is a perfect place for WCHS students looking to spend a free afternoon in Bethesda.

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