The annual Art Fair on the Boardwalk is a little gem of a festival with great big dreams and the potential to reach those dreams. The setting is right: the show is held on the historic boardwalk of Conneaut Lake Park. The selection is right: by “fine Arts” they mean fine arts. Sponsors of Art Fair on the Boardwalk go to great pains to maintain a show of the highest magnitude of quality. The atmosphere is right: not pretentious by any standard, but that specific culture attained only by high art is exuberantly pursed. As stated, it’s a little gem of a festival. With only about 10,000 visitors over two days, it pops up quickly and then as quickly it is over. And when it does pop up that third weekend in June, those in the know, know not to miss it.
On Friday evening the artists’ reception is held at the Hotel Conneaut. As a meet and greet with the public, artists take care to select their best work for display. Nothing is for sale at this event, just an opportunity to relax and have fun. Festival sponsors wish merely to have a cozy introduction before the weekend sale, all whilst enjoying the live music and hor dourves of course. Later in the weekend an auction is held to raise money for the festival. Pieces of art from the vendors at the show are up for bid and unlike the Friday reception, purchasing is vehemently encouraged. It is a great chance to get a last minute deal on that one item you had your eye on.
On Saturday and Sunday the show commences as vendors display wonderful custom made jewelry, wheel spun pottery, impressionist paintings, sculptures of all mediums, and wooden crafts. Though the entire event is relatively small – only fifty vendor booths spread along the boardwalk and the beach club – the small scale is a nice change of pace. The intimacy allowed by such an underwhelming amount of vendors means less time being overwhelmed and more time enjoying the art. Visitors are able to interface with artists and really soak in all the works. Visitors can stroll along the boardwalk, eat nice foods, listen to live music, and just have a good time.
Admission and parking is free.