The Paso Robles Art in the Park festival, sponsored exclusively by Castoro Cellars, will return to the Paso Robles Downtown City Park for two weekends in 2019: April 13 and 14 and Oct. 19 and 20 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. While the art festival — called Paso Robles ArtFest and put on by Studios on the Park — has been happening in the park for many years, 2018 was the first year that Steve Powers, the man behind Morro Bay Art in the Park, took over and renamed the event.
“I think it’s really good that Steve Powers took [over the art festival in Paso Robles] and made it a really good show,” said Julie Dunn, artist and co-owner of Park Street Gallery in Paso Robles. “I’m on a mission to build [an art] movement [in Paso Robles]. That’s why I’m glad Steve has done what he’s done.”
Paso Robles Art in the Park saw 100 exhibitors in 2018, and Powers expects the event to grow to 150 exhibitors over time.
Powers said there will be 135 exhibitors at the April event representing independent artists and craft workers from around the county, state and country.
“A couple of years ago I was on the internet and saw that Studios on the Park that ran ArtFest [wasn’t going to do it any longer],” Powers said. “I contacted the city of Paso Robles and told them I could produce a two-day show and it would not cost them a penny.”
After getting approval from the city, Powers got to work on planning his first art festival in Paso Robles. While the Morro Bay Art in the Park events are three days over holiday weekends — Memorial Day, Fourth of July and Labor Day, the Paso Robles events will take place in April and October for the weather.
“The weather was a deciding factor in moving the event earlier,” Powers said. “Memorial Day weekend is too hot. Last year we had great weather.”
Due to the constraints of the park in Morro Bay, the Paso Robles Art in the Park event is able to have a third more vendors.
“We have expanded the event,” Powers said. “We’re taking up the entire eastern side of the event. It’s like a little village.”
He said that the Morro Bay show sees 6,000 people over the three-day event. Before the 2018 event, Powers said he expected the Paso Robles show to see 3,000 people per day. Over the two days, he said there were about 6,000 to 7,000 people.
“Paso Robles is used to just one day events in the park,” Powers said. “This year I think we’ll be much busier on Sunday.”
Dunn represented her downtown Paso Robles gallery at the Paso Robles Art in the Park at the event in 2018 and will do so again this month. She and her business partner, Peggy Turk, take a sampling of the work in their 1320 Park Street gallery. They sell work from the booth and the gallery is also open for attendees to see more work from their artists.
“For people who enjoy going to an art festival, they should come out,” Dunn said. “A lot of the artists are local. You’re supporting locals.”
Dunn added that she likes how Powers encourages people to not only attend the art event but to also visit downtown businesses.
For more information about the show, please visit pasoroblesartinthepark.com.