Art on the Square is back for the 16th time. With it come about 80,000 visitors to the community.
It is a time to showcase our best work, and that is embodied in the 600 people who show up to clean, organize, pamper, chat, lead, lift and generally create a major event and tourist draw out of what on Wednesday night was basically a blank canvas. They do it for love and not for money.
Volunteers make this the destination that 800 artists want, but to which only 105 are admitted. Volunteers make it possible for those artists to sell $1.5 million in art that improves our homes, businesses and public spaces. Volunteers made this the No. 1 art fair for the past two years, as well as six of the past 10 years — with a No. 2 rank those other years.
Artists love to come to this show because of the open arms they find. They are pampered and appreciated.
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In part that comes from the community, but it is especially shown by the volunteers pushing refreshment carts and asking what the artists need.
This year’s Art on the Square is dedicated to one of those volunteers who quietly led and helped build the event. Wayne “Denny” Spencer passed away March 16. He, like many of the volunteers, was there for most of the 16 years the show has existed.
He left an empty spot that others will fill, but with more than 600 volunteers needed to put on this art fair there is plenty of room and need for more.
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