As Oil Heritage Festival organizers scurry to figure out how to reconfigure the celebration because of coronavirus-related directives, one group is determined to retain one popular element of the festivities – the arts.
“The Oil Heritage Festival art show is going to happen but there will be some changes,” said Stew Armstrong, artist liaison and marketing coordinator for ARTS Oil City. “We’re going to make it work.”
The popular art show, coordinated by ARTS Oil City and the Oil City Arts Council, will be held Wednesday, July 22, through Sunday, July 26, at the National Transit Building, the National Transit Annex and the 42 Seneca St. office space.
“Because of all the changes due to the virus, and the fact we got started late due to that, we’ve made some changes,” said Armstrong. “This is a big draw – over 1,000 gallery visitors each year – so we want it to continue.”
The biggest change is a decision to not charge entry fees for artists to exhibit.
“So, there’s no cost to participate at any level. Entrants can still enter up to three works across any category,” said Armstrong. “Still, the show will be professionally judged and ribbons awarded.”
The artists’ entries will be exhibited from noon to 4 p.m. July 23 and 26 and noon to 6 p.m. July 24 and 25 at all three sites.
The artwork, either amateur or professional, must be dropped off from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday, July 12, at 42 Seneca St. Registration will be done during that period.
The entry stipulations include:
– There are two adult divisions (professional and amateur) and two youth divisions (ages 13-17, 12 and under).
– The categories include watercolors and pastels, oils and acrylics, three-dimensional arts, graphics and mixed media, fiber arts. In the photography category, the sections are color, black/white, and/or digitally enhanced.
– Once received, the artwork will be staged according to category. All ages in the photography category will be set up at 42 Seneca St. The adult art show is set for the National Transit Building. The children and young adult art show will be held at the National Transit Annex.
– Public health concerns have been taken into consideration, said Armstrong, adding that “appropriate social distancing and the wearing of masks will be heartily encouraged during the show as well as at the delivery and pick-up sites.”
Jolly July 3rd changes
Meanwhile, another Oil City event has been substantially changed due to the pandemic. The Jolly July 3rd festival, sponsored by the Oil City Arts Council, won’t include a variety of events traditionally held in Justus Park.
A full fireworks display, though, will go on as usual.
“When the Oil City Fire Department said that, of course, they would collect money for the fireworks, that made us more enthusiastic so we’re going to have the fireworks,” said Kay Woods, an Arts Council member. “Oil City Firefighters Local 700 raised more than enough to do this. We are so thankful to them.”
The display will be set off down behind the bandshell at Justus Park at 10 p.m.
The Arts Council has canceled the annual Oil Region Indie Music Festival slated for July in downtown Oil City.
“Closing the streets and having too many people together just wasn’t going to work,” said Woods.