“Art On Main” was an awesome street festival in May, and I was hoping for just as much open-ended fun for the fall edition. I’m starting to doubt if that will happen.
The second edition of “Art on Main” was held on May 7, 2011. I didn’t get to attend the first one in Fall 2010 because of work obligations, but I wanted to check the second one out. I went there fully expecting to spend about 30 minutes getting photos and then I’d move along to my next stop. Four hours later, I was still there and having a great time just seeing what the local arts community actually consists of.
I knew diddlysquat about Southside’s art community until I saw what it was all about. I knew that Melissa Charles was a catalyst for getting arts-related people organized and that she is a genius when it comes to that stuff. I spent well over four hours just walking around the two blocks of Main St and was amazed at what I saw. Crafters, photographers, singers, dancers, performance art… even a well rehearsed flash mob dance. I met new friends, saw new things and was totally amazed at what I saw and what the Southside art community was all about. There were even plenty of things or children to do there.
Let’s get real, folks. I’m not in the hoity-toity Art Appreciation Society where people look at paintings, tell you loads of bullcrap about what it really means, then look down on you because you think the painting looks like it was done by a chimpanzee. “Art on Main” was great because it was fun for People Like Me. “Art on Main” was a complete success and I promised that I would spread the word. I was really looking forward to the Fall 2011 festival for another round of laid-back fun and entertainment.
(insert sound cue of tires screeching & cars crashing).
Danville Arts & Humanities has taken over “Art on Main” and it’s now part of the new “River District Festival”. “Art on Main” in October is now the “1st Annual Art on Main Juried Show (An Official Event of the Danville River District Festival”. Melissa Charles now has nothing to do with the event, nor it seems does she have anything to do with Danville Arts & Humanities. Melissa is a class act, and she won’t (nor do I expect her) to say anything about what’s happened. That being said, I’m wondering what’s going on. The loss of Melissa Charles’ leadership, talent and skills is a giant loss for this festival.
From what I see at the River District Festival’s website, “Art On Main” is becoming a formalized juried art show. The prices for the vendors have more than doubled, the talent performances now include a talent competition (tough luck if you’re over 35 years old and wanted to perform in that). The website says…
The River District Festival is proud to host an eclectic array of local and visiting–vocalist, musicians, performing artists, and dancers. The day’s entertainment will divide into professional visiting performances, local professional performances, and an amateur talent competition.
… but I have no idea what that means. I thoroughly enjoyed the “very less than professional” entertainment at the May festival, which included pretty much ane range of anybody that had a decent amount of talent.
“Art on Main” was a festival for the regular Joe and that’s why I stayed there for over four hours. The museum held “Art on the Lawn” at the same time that day. I stayed there about 10 minutes in the High Society until I couldn’t wait to get back to the fun on Main Street. I don’t want to see a juried art show with high vendor fees. I don’t want to see only professional talent. I want to have fun like I did at May’s street festival.
“Art on Main” worked fine the way it was in May. I have no idea what’s going on with Danville Arts & Humanities or why a growing street festival seems to be having all the fun sucked out of it and is being replaced with a hoity-toity juried art show all in the name of the new “Danville River Festival”. Does anybody else know what’s going on?