31st annual Art in the Park slated for Aug. 14 in South Portland

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SOUTH PORTLAND — When the 31st annual Art in the Park takes place on Saturday, Aug. 14, in Mill Creek Park, the most prominent piece of art may not be at one of the 185 artists booths.

It’s quite possible the new gazebo completed this week could steal the show.

The $65,000, grant-funded gazebo, designed and installed by the Knightville-based Uncommon Kitchen & Bath, is quite an upgrade from the previous bandstand.

The exterior of the gazebo is eye-catching. The gray cedar shingles around base give way to natural-colored cedar shingles on the roof, which reaches its pinnacle with a copper cupola.

That cupola allows natural light to trickle into the interior, highlighting the deep red flooring and benches made out of western red cedar. In the middle of the floor, there is a city seal engraved into a granite piece of tile.

Other than the new gazebo, Art in the Park Organizer Mary Kahl said there are no significant changes or additions at this year’s event. Other than the fact that guitarist, Peter Albert, will be sitting in for Jim Gallant, who normally plays the event.

“Other than that, things are pretty much the same as they were last year,” Kahl said.

In addition to the art and photography by both professional and student artists, children will be able to create their own master pieces in the Kids in the Park section, which is open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Kids in the Park will also offer free face-painting and entertainment will be provided by Julie & Brownie, a New Hampshire-based duo who dress in costumes and play children’s music.

Every year Art in the Park gives a $1,000 scholarship to a South Portland High School graduate going on to study art in college.

This year’s recipient was Allison Stack, who will be attending the Massachusetts College of Art in Boston this fall.

Stack will be displaying her art at Stand 99, between the gazebo and Cottage Road. Her artistic interests touch a variety of media, including small sculpture, jewelry, photography, painting, drawing and ceramics.

A panel of judges will award 10 cash prizes to artists, including a $800 prize for best in show and five $150 merit awards.

Art in the Park runs from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. In the event of rain, the event will be held on Sunday, Aug. 15. For more information, log onto ArtintheParkMaine.com.

Randy Billings can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 100 or [email protected]