West Reading will host its 25th annual Art on the Avenue, Berks County’s premiere art and music festival, from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., June 15, on Penn Avenue.
The rain or shine juried event showcases the work of local and regional artists, crafters, vendors, West Reading businesses, musicians and other talents. The festival is free and open to the public. Food and beverages will be available for purchase.
Art on the Avenue is hosted by the West Reading Community Revitalization Foundation. West Reading’s Main Street Manager, Mark Ratcliffe noted, "Having been involved in Art on the Avenue from its very first year, I am so impressed with its growth, now four full blocks in the 25th year. The overwhelming support of regional and local artists supporting our Plein Air event, the largest group of vendors ever and our amazing mural corridor makes this one of the liveliest events in Berks County. A true showcase of the creative spirit in our community.”
Prior to the opening at 11 a.m., Safe Berks, formerly Berks Women in Crisis, will hold its "Walk for No More" against domestic abuse, which begins at the 700 block and will continue east on Penn Avenue to the 400 block, where the organization will offer music, children's crafts and activities all day in partnership with Berks Arts Council. Explained Ratcliffe, “We are thrilled to announce our new partnership with Berks Arts Council will also help activate the 400 block, bringing in arts non-profits and two additional entertainment stages. We are excited to invite everyone to our biggest event of the year!"
Thirteen live bands will perform on the 6th and 7th Avenue stages sponsored by Reading Hospital-Tower Health. “Reading Hospital is proud to sponsor Art on the Avenue,” said Desha Dickson, Associate Vice President, Community Wellness at Reading Hospital. “This wonderful event showcases the talent, entrepreneurship, and creativity of our community and encourages individuals to enjoy all West Reading has to offer."
Celebrating its fourth year, Plein Air West Reading, organized by the West Reading Community Revitalization Foundation and Art Plus Gallery at 604 Penn Ave., will showcase the paintings of more than 50 artists, who will have been painting scenes of West Reading and Berks County outdoors for the three days previous to the festival. The contest's awards will be presented Friday night. The Plein Air tent on Sixth Avenue, near Chef Alan's restaurant, will exhibit all the paintings for sale. Visitors to the exhibit will be invited to vote for their favorite piece. All work in the exhibit, including pieces that won other awards and/or had been purchased the night before, are eligible for the People's Choice Award. The voting will close at 6 p.m., and the People’s Choice Award winner announced at 7 p.m.