The 49th annual Mount Gretna Outdoor Art Show attracted over 200 artists – 26 of the 30 2022 Judges’ Choice Award recipients and 50 new to the event – and 10,000 visitors from near and far to celebrate creative expression and craftsmanship.

Tickets for this year’s art show, which was held on Saturday, Aug. 19, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., and on Sunday, Aug. 20, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., were available for purchase at the gates and for pre-order online.

The art show, a Pennsylvania Chautauqua program, raises money for the nonprofit as well as the Mount Gretna Volunteer Fire Company and projects around the community.

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Digital, photographic, paper, print, drawn, painted, sculpted, glass, metal, wood, fabric, and mixed media were some of the types of art on display at this year’s art show.

“We also host an emerging artist section to help spur creativity and inspiration as professional artists,” art show director Kerry Royer said in an email to LebTown.

The kids’ show was held at the Chautauqua Playground, situated within the art show grounds, on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Royer said “artistic engagements for kids” accompanied by adults were available on both days.

While immersed in the area’s natural scenery, attendees of the two-day, rain-or-shine event enjoyed live performances Saturday by Ken Gehret & Friends and Paul Colombo Group and Sunday by Andy Roberts with Fragile Fire and Third Stream.

The art show also offered attendees food and beverages from 10 somewhat local businesses, including Cracked Pepper Catering, Snitz Creek Brewery, The Oasis, What If… of Hershey, The Hershey Bistro, The Hershey Pantry, and Gosia’s Pierogies.

This year’s art show featured a tented area for food vendors, with food trucks parked throughout the art show and craft market.

An informational center, ATM vendor, open and tented seating/eating areas, and porta-potties were also available to visitors.

When asked about the organizational process behind the art show, Royer said, “We start to plan for the next show immediately following the current show. We update our artist application software and reserve all of the tangible items associated with show logistics — which is massive. In the spring, we invite the juried artists.”

Royer said the jury for the art show is made up of “a different cache of professional artists and educators” each year who review applications. Consequently, the jury scores and selected artists vary on a yearly basis. The recipients of the Judges’ Choice Award receive an immediate invitation to the next year’s art show.

Over 300 volunteers work to continue the art-centered tradition, with volunteer leads being instrumental in planning the event. The process involves collaborating with the Borough of Mount Gretna.

During the event, volunteers collect visitors’ tickets, hand out programs, and tape wristbands to visitors leaving the art show to allow for re-admission later in the day.

The view walking from the craft market to the art show Sunday morning.

Police and emergency personnel monitor the grounds and direct foot and vehicular traffic near the art show and craft market, which is an event with free admission that takes place the same weekend at the historic Mount Gretna Park.

“Our whole community helps to support and lift up this local cultural and historical event,” Royer, a Mount Gretna resident and Visit Lebanon Valley board member, said.

The 50th annual Mount Gretna Outdoor Art Show will be held on Aug. 17 and 18, 2024, the third full weekend in August next year.

“We have had the Lebanon County Commissioners and local municipalities recognize 2024 as the ‘Year of the Arts’ in Mount Gretna,” Royer said.

“2024 will be the 50th show, so we are planning some celebratory community events to honor the impact the art show has had on Mount Gretna. The art show is an anchor event of the Mount Gretna summer and a culmination of all of the other cultural, artistic, musical, educational, and performance events. Our community thrives because of the efforts of all arts organizations affiliated with our mission.”

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Lexi Gonzalez is a reporter for LebTown. She is currently completing her bachelor's degree at Lebanon Valley College.


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