FOLEY - The Art in the Park committee recently made the decision to cancel the 2020 Art in the Park due to the coronavirus pandemic. Art in the Park normally takes place on Mother’s Day Weekend each May, bringing in over 100 artists, local and travelling, to showcase their talents and sell works including paintings, crafts, jewelry, and more.
This would have been the 48th Art in the Park, and while the event has been cancelled in the past due to immediate weather threats, this is the first time it has ever been cancelled more than a month in advance.
“Art in the Park has been a highly anticipated event for residents of Foley and the surrounding area since 1972, and we are disappointed that it will not be held this year,” said Mayor John Koniar. “But with the current pandemic, public safety is our biggest concern. We all look forward to Art in the Park starting up again next Spring, and in the meantime please practice social distancing and wash your hands.”
Prior to the cancellation, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) announced a ban on groups of more than ten people. Coronavirus is transmitted person to person through close contact, in particular through coughing and sneezing. The CDC is urging people to stay six feet apart when out in public, and to go out as seldom as possible.
Though the committee hopes the virus spread will be contained by May, they wanted to give the artists advance warning that the event had been cancelled. Letters have been mailed out to those who signed up explaining the situation, along with the return of application fees.
“We know artists put in a lot of work into creating and bringing their crafts, but with everything going on and the CDC’s current recommendations we cannot ask these artists to hang on and hope that the event is going to happen, when in reality it probably is not,” said Linda Koniar. “I would love to be wrong and for this pandemic to be completely over by then, but there’s no way of knowing, and we wanted to make sure the artists didn’t sink a lot of time and money into their products.”
She says that the Foley Art Center’s Trim A Tree, which lasts during November and December, is a huge success, and she hopes artists previously signed up for Art in the Park will bring their products to sell at that time. She also hopes to see everyone at next year’s Art in the Park.
Art in the Park is among the list of numerous events that have been cancelled or postponed in the effort to stop the spread of the coronavirus.