The Mount Gretna Outdoor Art Show cancelled its Aug. 15-16 2020 event due to coronavirus concerns April 9.

The Pennsylvania Chautauqua voted unanimously to cancel the show following a meeting discussing public health and safety.

“We determined that as events start coming back, the ones that draw thousands of people and travelers from all over the nation are going to be the events that come back last,” said Art Show Director Kerry Royer.

Poster art for the now-cancelled 2020 art show, released Jan. 29.

Given the large amount of resources, volunteers, and coordination that goes into the art show months in advance, planners wanted to make a decision early on. Organizers are looking ahead to the 2021 show Aug. 21-22.

“We decided that it was prudent at this time to make the decision so that we can preserve our capacity to have the show again in 2021,” said Royer.

Every year, artists from across the country travel to Mt. Gretna for the art show. Royer mentioned the amount of preparation that these artists put into art shows as a factor toward the decision.

“I wanted to make the decision early also to help them,” said Royer. “I heard from one artist who said that right now, she’s getting her work framed in preparation for summer art shows and her framer is closed.”

Royer noted the Mount Gretna Outdoor Art Show’s website’s new Virtual Art Show page. The page, currently displaying 2019 artists, offers a method of keeping the show going even in its cancellation.

A few pieces displayed on the art show’s Virtual Art Show page.

“We’re all going to have to adapt and learn new ways to bring the arts to the community,” said Royer.

Changes that were planned for the art show this year, including shuttle buses and parking at WellSpan Philhaven, are still planned for the 2021 show.

“It was a really difficult decision to make,” said Royer. “This is such a distinct show that defines our community.”

Davis Shaver contributed reporting to this article.

Read all of LebTown’s COVID-19 coverage here.

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Emily Bixler was born and raised in Lebanon and now reports on local government. In her free time, she enjoys playing piano and going for hikes.


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