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Jul 9, 2018 10:44 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Westhampton Beach Art Show Relocated

The 46th annual Mary O’Fritchie Art Show will be held in early August at the grassy lot of private property located on Sunset Avenue, just across the street from Island Surf. ELSIE BOSKAMP
Jul 10, 2018 12:56 PM

Artists participating in the 46th annual Mary O’Fritchie Art Show, a display and sale of fine arts that attracts thousands of art enthusiasts to the Village of Westhampton Beach each August, will now set up shop at a new property, located at 33 Sunset Avenue.

Village officials have been working with board members from the Greater Westhampton Chamber of Commerce, which organizes and oversees the art show, to find a new location for the exhibit ever since it was decided, earlier this year, to relocate the village’s seasonal farmers market to the village green, the longtime site of all three of the chamber’s art shows.

The initial plan was to hold the August show on the western end of Main Street on the Great Lawn, where the Maggie Burbank Arts and Crafts Show was held in June, and where the Gordon Werner Arts and Crafts Show will be held in October, but a scheduling issue derailed that idea.

The nearly 6-acre lot is already being used by the Historical Society for a Civil War Encampment on Saturday, August 4, which overlaps with the planned art show, which is scheduled from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on that Saturday, and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday, August 5.

In an effort to find a new space for the August art show, the Village Board offered space at the village marina, Glovers Park and the municipal parking lot on Mill Road, but chamber officials opted not to use the suggested locations. Instead, the chamber received permission to hold the event on the private grassy lot on Sunset Avenue, just across the street from Island Surf.

“They came up with this other idea of having the show at this privately owned property. We didn’t ask them to have it there—they chose that location,” Village Mayor Maria Moore said. “It may very well be the right decision for them to do it there rather than the other locations that were suggested. We’re hoping they get a lot of foot traffic from Main Street.”

At a meeting on Monday, July 2, the move was finalized when the Village Board authorized an outdoor sales permit to the Chamber of Commerce.

“It’s going to be interesting to see how it goes,” Chamber Vice President Phil Grossman said, “but we’re all confident that it will be successful here.”

Chamber President Noelle Bass also noted that the location, which is smaller, but similar, to the great lawn, will allow for all of the artists to have equal visibility, whereas at the village green, only the artists set up near the entrance were seen by passersby, she said.

Ms. Moore noted that she has spoken to officials at the Historical Society about changing the date of their event in future years to allow chamber officials the choice of holding the show at the great lawn starting next summer.

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