Don’t let the 20,000 visitor estimate fool you: Brandywine Festival of the Arts is an intimate opportunity to meet artists and stock up on all things painted, turned, sewn and repurposed for your aesthetic pleasure. With the soon-to-be-restored Josephine Fountain as a center meeting point, BFA weekend is a lovely way to honor the approach of summer’s end in the beautiful Brandywine Park, overlooking the Brandywine Creek.
More BFA by the numbers:
200+ artists exhibiting one-of-a-kind art in a wide range of styles and mediums;
10 live music performances;
8+ local food vendors, not to mention samples of artisan food crafts from vendors like Pretzelphoria;
$5 admission for ages 12 and up (Note: use your hand stamp both days if you can keep it in tact. Your hand stamp also gets you $1 admission to the Brandywine Zoo.); and,
1 happy kid when you arrive at Kids Korner for craft time.
The art is juried, meaning a panel judges each applicant’s art to determine if it’s of a quality that meets this annual arts festival’s standards. The festival also boasts participants from across the United States and perennially ranks in the top 100 shows in the country.
If you think you missed this festival a few years ago, it’s not you: BFA took a hiatus at one point since its 1961 inception, when art was hung on clotheslines. It has evolved to a two-day affair, and when Barry Schlecker revived the festival, in keeping with the original spirit of the art fair, he added live music, food and more. It continues to take place annually on the weekend after Labor Day.
Off-site parking is available, with free shuttles looping around to Salesianum School and Baynard Stadium off W. 18th Street. ATMs on site, and some vendors accept checks and credit cards. Rain or shine, pet friendly, but please, no smoking.
Five artists to watch for:
Adoptabot – Brian Marshall uses found materials to create mostly metal robot sculptures – warriors, shamans, schoolgirls and surfers – and offers them up to loving homes through his Adopt-A-Bot orphanage.
Dimensional Art by Michael Carroll – The artist uses oil, acrylic, enamel and latex paints in conjunction with plaster, cement, caulk, glue, wood, etc. and encases each work in a custom frame
Nicole Kristiana – Asian-inspired art meets rhythmic lines meets animal documentaries, with batik-esque color patterns, executed in gouache, oil, watercolor and ink, with prints are done in a modern day printmaking process.
Brandywine Botanicals – Unique, aged blends of essential oils emphasizing ethical harvesting, organics and crops grown without the use of sprays. The fragrances are preservative- and dye-free.
Larry Anderson – Intricate watercolor paintings and prints focused on the beauty of the Eastern Seaboard's sights and events and local nostalgia.
Saturday, September 8: 10am-6pm
Sunday, September 9: 10am-4pm