Artists’ Weekend in Highland County is June 23 – 25, 2023


The Highland County Arts Council’s Artists’ Weekend is coming up Friday, June 23 through Sunday, June 25.  This year will feature some additions to the event.

Donna Bedwell has more.  She is the President of the Highland County Arts Council.

“The Artists’ Weekend is a popular outdoor painting event that has been held in Highland for about fourteen years and then we had a couple year break, but it was revived last year in 2022,” says Bedwell.  “So, we are working very hard on trying to regain the previous popularity and momentum that we experienced back in 2019, when we had forty artists come in.   There is a lot more competition now for plein air events than when Liz Delahoussaye started this event for the Arts Council years ago, but we feel that Highland has the opportunity still to attract a lot of artists for ours, just simply because of the uniqueness of Highland.  I think we have a real advantage here with our landscape and the scenic views that we have, not to mention the interesting architecture whether its some of our beautiful homes or barns, the churches in the rural settings.  I think all of them are wonderful subjects for an artist to capture.”

An addition this year is a workshop on acrylic painting Thursday, June 22, at 5 pm.

“We’re kind of kicking the weekend off with a Thursday afternoon event,” says Bedwell. “Karen Milnes, who is a local very talented artist, is going to be teaching a workshop through the Highland Arts Academy on Getting Started Using Acrylic Paints.  This workshop really is not just for the visiting artists, but we’re hoping that a lot of local artists or new artists would take this workshop to give them additional confidence to participate in the Artists’ Weekend.  So, we are trying to expand the participation, but also kind of expand the offerings that we have to local and visiting artists.”

This year the Arts Council received permission from some landowners and is offering access to specific private properties where artists can paint.   Be aware that artists will be out all around Highland County on Friday and Saturday, June 23 and 24.

“We certainly have the safety of artists in mind,” says Bedwell.  “Often times when they are set up beside a road, we always caution people that there are artists in town and throughout the county.  So, please be cautious as you’re traveling along some of our back roads, you might come around a turn and find an artist set up alongside the road with their easel.”

The Artists’ Weekend finishes up with the Wet Paint Show on Sunday, June 25, from 2 until 4pm at The Highland Center.

“That has always been a very popular event not only with the artists, but with individuals in Highland because it gives you the opportunity not only to see some wonderful works of art, but you can purchase them directly from the artist and meet the artist who painted it and understand a little bit more about the painting and what their inspiration was and so forth,” says Bedwell.

To register or to get more information on the Artists’ Weekend, visit

The Highland County Arts Council is a supporter of Allegheny Mountain Radio.

Story By

Bonnie Ralston

Bonnie Ralston is the Assistant Station Coordinator at WVLS and a Highland County news reporter. She began volunteering at Allegheny Mountain Radio in the fall of 2005. In 2006 she became an AMR employee and worked in Bath County for eight years as the WCHG Station Coordinator and then as the news reporter there. She began working in radio while in college and has stayed connected to radio, in one way or another, for more than thirty years. She grew up in Staunton, Virginia, while spending a lot of time on her family’s farm in Deerfield, Virginia. She enjoys spending time outside, watching old TV shows and movies and tending to her chickens.

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