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Art In The Park Postponed Until 2013

Saturday, March 24, 2012


Due to difficult fundraising, a deficit from last year’s show, and upcoming renovations to Elm Park, Worcester formerly annual Art in the Park will be postponed until 2013.

A Need for Fundraising

According to the head of the committee behind Art in the Park, Gloria Hall, although last year’s funding was a record high, they still had a deficit.

“Funding improved tremendously last year. We got more from organizations and individuals than ever. It was a good growth year, but we ended up with a deficit of $2,500,” Hall said. “It was money put toward our advertising and print. The artists were paid. It was more administrative [costs].”

Since 2008, the art display that turns historical Elm Park into an outdoor gallery has brought over 150 regional artists and over 80 pieces of public art to the city, but this year’s show isn’t happening.

“In doing a biennial, we’re going to be working toward increasing our fundraising and increasing the number of volunteers and those working on the committee,” Hall said. “We’re working to move the organization to being more permanent and strengthening our funding and capacity.”

An Unexpected Change

“I only found out yesterday,” said local artist Susan Champeny, who was expecting information about the show. “We were mostly concerned that the call for art hadn’t come out yet.”

Champeny has been featured in Art in the Park multiple times and was already preparing something for the 2012 show. “We had a couple things we were working on, but they’re not final yet, as they’re still falling down,” she said with a laugh. Champeny’s work usually consists of colorful, playful sculptures depicting everyday objects in unique ways.

While Champeny was sad and surprised to hear the news, she looks forward to the next installation.

“Of course I’d want it to happen every year, but this just means that I get to grow more this year artistically,” she said. “Whatever I finish will go other places, and when they hold it again, I will come back and reapply.”

“I always try to do something new every year, and Art in the Park is a great place to try something new.”

Elm Park Gets a Facelift

While funding was an issue in postponing this year’s installation, Art in the Park was also put off due to upcoming renovations to Elm Park.

The Art in the Park website states: “The work will limit the available exhibit space. Since Art in the Park’s inception, the Park Department has been very supportive of the exhibition. The current uncertainty makes it difficult… to make the commitments to the artists in the time necessary to mount a quality exhibition this year.”

“Their explanation makes a lot of sense. I heard that Elm Park is having renovations soon and was wondering how that was going to work out,” said Champeny. “I’m sure they wouldn’t want the art to be damaged during the renovations.”

In the Meantime

In their first year of transitioning to the biennial schedule, Art in the Park will work on improving their standing.

“We’re looking for specialized people who can bring specific strengths to Art in the Park. The structure of Art in the Park is one that changes from year to year – the content changes. But there’s a format that won’t change,” Gloria Hall said.

She plans on working to increase the number of artists involved as well as building the success of the art going into the community after the exhibit.

“We want to do it right,” she said.


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