Bristol in Bloom: Connecting artists and community


BRISTOL, Va. (WJHL) — A new art festival is blooming in Bristol this weekend. Bristol in Bloom is a new festival aimed to connect artists with each other and the community.

Founder Marcy Parks said as a local artist she has seen other artist friends leave the area because they lacked a sense of support from the community. She set out to change that.

“I wanted to create this event that had opportunities for people to learn about art, some educational opportunities, as well as a way of helping local Appalachian artists dig their roots deeper into this region,” said Parks.

Bristol in Bloom was originally scheduled for Mother’s Day Weekend 2020 but was delayed until this October due to the pandemic.

Parks chose the name “Bristol in Bloom” because the dogwood trees would have been in bloom for the original festival. Now, she said the “leaves are in bloom” instead.

The festival will feature more than 40 artists, makers and organizations spread across Cumberland Square Park. The event will feature live demonstrations, interviews with artists and opportunities for attendees to make their own art.

Live interviews with local artists will be hosted by local artist, creator and curator Summer Apostol from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

From 1 to 3 p.m. Abingdon songwriter and musician Bill Edwards will take the stage to perform.

There will even be art activities for kids at the event hosted by Miss Amy’s Daycare and Pre-K out of Abingdon.

Parks is also trying to launch a “Blooming Artist” scholarship for artists under 18 looking to pursue art degrees. Proceeds from the event will benefit the scholarship fund for young artists from the Appalachian Region.

“Bristol in Bloom was originally created with the intention of nurturing blooming artists in the area,” said Parks. “So blooming artists are artists that are 18 and under that are just getting into the exploration of their creative pursuits.”

The free event is being held at Cumberland Park from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 9. Food will be available to purchase from Lobster Dogs of Tennessee and Believe in Bristol is sponsoring a Beer Garden at the event.

Hand sanitizer will be placed throughout the event and at each booth. Mask wearing is encouraged, especially when close to others.

For more information click here.

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