Bath County Art Show 2019

7-14-19 Art Show Interview

I’m here with Stephanie Hiner and we’re doing an interview about the annual Bath County Art Show. I think I read this is the 55th one. Can you tell me more about that? 

 “We have it every year. Now it’s currently at Valley Elementary School in Hot Springs. It runs from July 20th through the 28th. Every day, it’s open from 1-5pm, except for on the closing Sunday, which is when we open at 10. There’s usually about 250 artists, usually 750 pieces of artwork. They come from all over. We have one artist that comes from California, but the majority of people come from Virginia and it’s just an amazing experience- and I encourage everyone to come out and see it.”

Do you find that a lot of artists are reoccurring? Or do you get a lot of new artists every year?

“We get a lot of reoccurring artists. In fact, we have one artists that everyone knows and loves, Perlista Henry, who has been doing it every year except for one, and we’ve had new artists come. We’ve had people who have just experienced it, people who are just getting into art, they’ve discovered art as a second is really a wonderful opportunity. We’ve had people from the high school that have graduated, you have to be at least 18 years old enter. But you know, it’s been great to see local artists participate.”

And they give out awards there too, right? There’s a Best in Show, I think.

“Yeah, there’s the Best in Show and this year, we’re actually naming it after Janice McWilliams, who passed away earlier this winter and we’re just thrilled to be able to honor her in such a way. She was an incredible person. But we also have varied prizes for different types of artwork for the different mediums, and the prizes are over 9,500 dollars so you could win a substantial prize and the largest prizes $1,000, which is the Best in Show.”

Do you have a favorite medium that you make sure to look at?

“Yeah, myself, I really like watercolor, but most people tend to like the oils. I think watercolor’s so difficult, because it changes fast, and I just really enjoy watercolor.”

And for these artists, you can enter a few pieces at a time, right? Or is it just one?

“Yes, the maximum is three. And you have to come this coming weekend, the 13th and the 14th I think that Saturday and Sunday to submit your artwork, and it has to have been produced within the last year. So if you did it 10 years ago, you unfortunately you can’t submit it. Then it’s judged by a different person every year and this year, it’s John Henry Rice and he’s an assistant or associate curator at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts out of Richmond so he comes and judges everything.”

So you guys get a new judge every year?

“Every year. But, usually through contacts we find people that either have worked in a museum, or have a gallery, or maybe they’re an artists themselves. Like last year we had he was a teacher from a school up in Alexandria. It’s really great. I mean different perspective, and hopefully we get tons of visitors”

Does a lot of the art in the show sell?

 “There is quite a few pieces that are sold, you know, everything doesn’t sell but I would say a substantial amount does sell. You know, really it’s our fundraiser, so we’re trying to raise money and the Arts Association does get a portion of the sale and then we use that to support programs around the county. We’re trying to expand. We’re looking for new and exciting ideas. I know there’s lots of ideas out there. So if anybody wants to contact us we’re on the web at or they can reach out to me.”

Make sure to stop by the Bath County Art Show to support the Arts Association, local artist,s and artists in general on July 20th- 28th. All of those days it’s open from 1-5pm except for the 28th when they open at 10am. 

For AMR News, I’m Abby Dufour 


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Abby Dufour

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