Art and Apples Festival to welcome 250 artists from across the nation

Marcus Ryan, of Marietta, Georgia, will have his hand-embellished fine art wine and bourbon photography for sale at the Art and Apples festival.

  Gino Torelli, of Ortonville, shows off some of his metal  art during a past Art and Apples festival.

Gino Torelli, of Ortonville, shows off some of his metal art during a past Art and Apples festival.

Photo by Lisa Villella, provided by the Paint Creek Center for the Arts

ROCHESTER — Fall is just around the corner, which means Rochester Municipal Park will transform into one of the nation’s largest juried fine art festivals this weekend.

The Art and Apples Festival, now in its 57th year, will return to Rochester Sept. 8-10.

“It’s always been a staple of Rochester, taking place in Rochester Municipal Park, and it’s really just a great event for bringing art to the community,” said Shaun Hayes, the executive director of the Paint Creek Center for the Arts, which puts on the show.

Hayes expects the Art and Apples — with Genisys Credit Union as the presenting sponsor — to draw a crowd of around 70,000 attendees over the three-day weekend.

“This is one of the top fine art festivals, not just in Michigan, but in the country,” he said.

A suggested $5 tax-deductible donation per person at each entrance to the festival will provide funding for the PCCA, which Hayes said works year-round to promote the arts and artistic excellence.

“This is our biggest fundraiser for the year to support a lot of the other activities we do throughout the year — that includes the art classes that we put on; our art exhibitions, which are always free to the public; and our art market, which helps local artists be able to sell their work through us,” Hayes explained.

This year’s festival will welcome approximately 250 artists from across the nation who will display and sell their work in 18 fine art mediums — including ceramics, digital art, drawing, textiles, glass, printmaking, jewelry, metal, mixed media, painting, photography, sculpture, wood and more.

“You’ll see a lot of artists that you won’t get to see anywhere else in Michigan, and also it’s a good way to wrap up the summer,” Hayes said. “I would say probably about 50% of the artists are new to the festival, so even if you have been in the past, there are definitely going to be some folks you haven’t seen before.”

Paige Neils, of Shelby Township, a PCCA instructor in ceramics and a featured faculty member for the fall 2023 term, is one of the new artists participating in the festival this year.

“I’m excited for the Art and Apples Festival because it’ll be my first year participating, as well as being a ceramics teacher for PCCA. It’s an amazing experience being a part of the wide Rochester collective and attending an event that brings art and pottery to the community,” Neils said in a statement.

Festival artists hail from 24 of the 50 states, with the farthest coming from California.

Returning favorite Marcus Ryan, a 2D mixed-media artist using acrylics and photography, lives in Marietta, Georgia.

“I do well in the area. Art and Apples is a well-run show in a great venue,” Ryan said in a statement.

For an inside look into how fine art is created, guests can stop by the Creation Station for live glass blowing and ceramic wheel throwing demonstrations from Michigan artists, or take a gander at the PCCA student-led group, PCCA Plein Air Painters, organized by Sigrid Grace, a long-time PCCA student and member, a Rochester resident, an emerging artist and a retired school teacher.

Children can get some energy out at the popular — and free — Meijer Kids Art Zone, which will offer face painting, inflatables, make-and-take art projects and more. There will also be some additional activities for all ages this year, provided by Oakland County Parks and Recreation, including inflatables, a tie-dye station, a bubble station and a number of oversized games.

Approximately 14 entertainers — including Rochester-area high school bands, local dance companies and more — can be viewed on the main stage in Rochester Municipal Park all weekend, and all are family-friendly, according to organizers.

When hunger sets in, festivalgoers can pay to sample a variety of offerings from 26 food vendors.

“We certainly have a few vendors on-site selling different apple-related products — the Boy Scouts will be selling their apple pies, and we will also have doughnuts, cider and caramel apples from Blake’s,” Hayes noted.

Art and Apples will be open 2-7 p.m. Friday, Sept, 8; 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 9; and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 10, in Rochester Municipal Park.

For more information, visit pccart.org/festival or call the PCCA at (248) 651-4110.

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