The 48th Annual Seawall Art Show will be held this year on Saturday, August 25 and Sunday, August 26 on High Street between Crawford and Court Streets in the Olde Towne Portsmouth Arts District.
I’ve written about the Seawall Art Show almost every year since I moved to Hampton Roads.
I love it. I’m there every year. The Seawall Show is not huge, but the art is mighty. There will be over 75 artists from up and down the eastern seaboard that have been selected by a jury to show photography, wood, sculpture, jewelry, clay, oil, acrylic, digital art, glass, watercolor, mixed media and more.
The artists compete for more than $7,000 in awards, including Best of Show. Corey Piper, Brock Curator of American Art at the Chrysler Museum, will be head judge this year. The Portsmouth Museums Foundation supports the Seawall Art Show. It is run by art-loving volunteers. Proceeds go directly to support the arts in Portsmouth.
The Seawall Art Show Student Show and Sale is an important part of the Art Show. On Saturday, students who are passionate about visual arts are given the chance to both show and sell their work. These kids range between 12 and 18 years old. For some, it’s the first time they will show their work in public. Others have been coming to the Seawall Art Show for a few years and are planning on making art their career. It’s a chance for you to buy a budding Kehinde Wiley or Mariah Robertson.
It’s a fun and free weekend in Portsmouth. Besides the visual art, there will be music. Performances include the Top Hats Orchestra, Who We Are Not, Jim Newsom, Larry Weintraub & Trio, Richard Spano & the Shadow Brothers, Charlton Phaneuf and Old School, New School. Parking is free in Portsmouth on the weekends, both on the street and in the city-owned garages.
You can ferry across the Elizabeth River from Waterside in Norfolk. Children under 18 can ferry free when accompanied by an adult. Bring a shopping bag, because the OldeTowne Portsmouth Farmers Market will be going right at the corner of Court and High Streets on Saturday, and this is prime veggie season. Vendors will also be selling treats that you can eat in the beautiful shaded courtyard of the Portsmouth Art & Cultural Center, which is also on that corner. There are some amazing sculptures in the courtyard. Inside the Art & Cultural Center is an exhibit of photographs taken along the Underground Railroad called “Through the Darkness Into Light.”
If you haven’t been to Portsmouth in awhile, you’re going to be surprised at all the new businesses and restaurants in Olde Towne. The Legend Brewing Company is at 1 High Street, right at the High Street ferry landing. There is Stellar Wine Company, Fish N Slips, Yoolks On Us and many more. The “olde” favorites are still there. I love the Roger Brown’s, the Gosport Tavern and the Bier Garden. There are all kinds of choices in easy walking distance.
If you’re bringing kids, the Children’s Museum of Virginia is on High Street. There is a special exhibit going on right now called “Turtle Travels”, where you can imagine yourself as a slow-moving turtle, navigating the world of people.
The newly renovated seawall, along the banks of the Elizabeth River Is open and is a beautiful stroll. Even though the Seawall Art Show is on High Street now, the actual seawall is only a few blocks away.
It’s easy to make a really nice day of it, full of art, music, and food. See you at the Seawall.