Arts in The Alley Makes its Debut July 29

Downtown Leesburg’s alleyway will be getting a significant makeover, at least for one day.

Saturday, July 29, the Friends of Leesburg Public Arts’ inaugural Arts in the Alley skips into town, and gives the whole family a reason to park the car and appreciate area art.

From 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., the alley area behind the west side of King Street, as well as Mervin Jackson Park and the Town Green, will be transformed into a variety of live art demonstration and sales, performances, and children’s activities.

“The focus of Arts in the Alley is to showcase local artists and artisans. Communities that nurture and promote the arts and improve the quality of life for everyone,” according to FOLPA President Sue Stipek.

The arts scene in Leesburg has been booming and FOLPA has been a driving force behind many of those projects. The completion of a mural in the Town Hall parking garage, the installation of the LOVEworks sculpture near Raflo Park, and the mural underway near the Liberty Street parking lot have been a few of the projects FOLPA has had a hand behind recently.

Just as important for the nonprofit has been the creation of events to engage the community in the arts scene, and Arts in the Alley hopes to do just that by enlivening the downtown area for the last Saturday in July.

A variety of artists will be participating, both exhibiting, demonstrating and selling their wares—from pottery making to flint knapping to stone tool-making to woodworking to photography to fiber arts, and more.

Chip Beck, a well-known editorial cartoonist, combat artist, photographer, and freelance writer, will be displaying and selling some of his works. Penny Hauffe will be creating a chalk art design on the Loudoun Street side of the parking garage wall during the event in a trompe l’oeil demonstration sponsored by Blue Ridge Hospice. Hauffe’s murals can be found on businesses and private residences throughout Virginia, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania. Bill Seebeck will be doing a flint knapping demonstration on the porch of the log cabin. And Loudoun County Public Schools teacher Courtney Kincaid is another artist in the event, and has helped FOLPA with its graphics for the event.

In total, Arts in the Alley will bring together 58 artisans, 15 of which are from Leesburg, and the remainder mainly from around Loudoun County, West Virginia, and the metro DC region. One artist will be traveling all the way from Rochester, NY, to participate.

But the art is not kept only to the visual senses. Arts in the Alley brings together an impressive performance roster, with entertainment offered on the Town Green stage, the gazebo in the alley, and the Rose Garden. Performing on the Town Green stage will be the Airmen of Note, a premier jazz ensemble of the U.S. Air Force; Loudoun Chorale; Loudoun Lyric Opera; Loudoun Symphonic Winds Ensemble Trombone Choir; Mudlark Band; Last Ham Standing improv group; Dance King Studios; and On That Note/Sterling Playmakers.

The line-up on the gazebo in the alley includes: The Golden Uksters, Mayleen and Waylee Hyett, Tom O’Neill, Bob Crerie, Stephen Merlin, and Annie Stokes. The Rose Garden area will feature puppet shows from Blue Sky Puppet Theatre, performances from Nrityaniketan Classical Indian dancers, and children’s activities.

There is no admission fee for Arts in the Alley, and free parking will be available in the Town Hall parking garage and at lots throughout the downtown area.

For more information, go to leesburgpublicarts.org/alley.

krodriguez@loudounnow.com

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