A! Magazine for the Arts

Summer Apostal (third from left) will lead interviews with artists and others.

Summer Apostal (third from left) will lead interviews with artists and others.

Bristol in Bloom flourishes in Bristol park

September 27, 2022

The second annual Bristol in Bloom Appalachian Regional Art Festival is happening Saturday, Oct. 8 at Cumberland Square Park in the heart of downtown Bristol, Virginia.

From 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., the festival celebrates and features the richness of the arts community of Appalachia and the beauty of Cumberland Square Park. Spread out outdoors across four acres, this free public event brings together 70 regional artists, makers and organizations from Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia.

Attendees of all ages can enjoy the day engaging with Appalachian art, learning from Appalachian artists, participating in kid’s activities and live art demonstrations and interacting with art installations and performances.

Scheduled activities will be taking place during the event.

Starting at 11 a.m. and lasting until 3 p.m., local artist, creator and curator, Summer Apostol, hosts 15-minute interviews with prominent local artists, organizers and culture creators from the region on the Cumberland Square Park Stage.

For those interested in watching a live demonstration, starting at 11 a.m., local artist Carrie Tester of Fox Blooms Fine Art shares a live paint pouring demonstration and gives insight to her process at her booth.

Dan Scott of Artistic Kindling talks about the process of marquetry, or what he likes to call “quilting with wood.”

Reshma Patel offers free Mehndi (henna body art) to festival goers from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

From 12- 4 p.m. Lauren Malandra, a live statue performer from Asheville, shares her live statue performance.

All day long, the William King Museum of Art hosts a block printing community art activity.

Along with the William King Museum, the Girl Scouts of the Southern Appalachians have a kid-friendly community art activity that will be available all day long.

This year’s featured Blooming Artists are the students of Miss Amy’s daycare and Pre-k based in Abingdon, Virginia, who will be exhibiting student artwork while also hosting kid-friendly art activity for the duration of the event.

There will be three interactive art installations at the event.

Local creators Chance Cook and Cody Leonard will be hosting an interactive Murder Mystery available all day at the event. Murder Mystery participants who solve the crime will be entered into a raffle to win a prize featuring prints from several local artists.

Marcy Parks will be bringing back her “Williams Wall” installation from 2021 inviting festival attendees to unburden themselves at the walls so they may enjoy the festival freely.

Parks will also be revealing her newest installation, “Butterfly Garden: A Labor of Love” on festival day.

The beer garden features favorites from local Appalachian breweries and a wine selection. Proceeds from the beer garden sales benefit Believe in Bristol and its continued work of supporting local businesses of downtown Bristol, Tennessee, and Virginia. The Pakalachian Food Truck and Bristol Berry Bowls will be the featured food trucks available on site at the event.

Throughout the day, festival-goers can interact with the various art installations, installed by Lauren Houser of Top Stitch Studios, and shop at any of the 60+ arts, crafts, and food vendors at the event.

Sponsors include Ballad Health, Kil’n Time Contemporary Ceramic Studio, the Bristol Community, Bristol Community Watch, Round the Mountain, Lowe’s, Elderbrew, CDR Frame Shop and Gallery, Food City, A&S Sanitation and Believe in Bristol.