“Arts on the Common” Returns Wrentham’s Celebration of the Arts Set for June 3
By Sydney Keane
For the second spring in a row, the Wrentham Cultural Council’s annual Arts on the Common event is back in the center of town. The juried art show will run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, June 3, rain or shine.
Located on the Wrentham town common at the intersection of Routes 140 and 1A, the outdoor festival boasts hand-crafted goods from dozens of artisans. Chair of the Cultural Council, Evelyn Zepf, ensures that Arts on the Common is designed to appeal to all age groups, with demonstrations, performances, and interactive activities.
The Wrentham Cultural Council is a local branch of the Massachusetts Cultural Council, responsible for reviewing and awarding grants for cultural programs in the town. The Council is committed to enhancing the vitality of the Wrentham community through engagement in the arts, humanities, and interpretive sciences. The Arts on the Common event is just one way the Wrentham Cultural Council achieves this.
The free, family-friendly festival will also include performances by local dance troupes, live music, and “Chalk the Walk” on the closed road through the common. Part-time and full-time artists are encouraged to use Arts on the Common as a venue for displaying and selling their work. Some artists also take the opportunity to demonstrate their creative processes.
The Cultural Council tries to select a wide variety of artists to participate, with considerations like price point and originality factoring into the council’s selections.
“We are looking for artisans,” explained Zepf, who noted the participants come from all over New England. “Things like paintings and fine arts, of course, but any crafts have to show some artistry and be handmade.”
Organizers from the Massachusetts and Wrentham Cultural Councils first introduced Arts on the Common with the intention of promoting arts within the community and highlighting relatively local artists’ work from around New England.
Although art is often a solitary pursuit, the pandemic posed unique challenges to artists. Zepf and the Massachusetts Cultural Council as a whole greatly admire the resilience of artists and believe a community that supports the arts is a healthy, thriving community.
While online sales platforms like Etsy and other e-marketplaces are great for selling goods without contact, Arts on the Common is a celebration that unites buyers, admirers, and artists in a more personal manner.
In addition to the usual festivities, an exhibit entitled “A Tale of the Fiske” will be open at Wrentham’s historic Fiske Museum, 55 East St., from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. This immersive experience highlights the history of Wrentham’s people, stories, architecture, and literature.
The Wrentham Cultural Council hopes to become more active as the pandemic recedes. Zepf pointed out the newly-renovated Sweatt Park as a possible location for some of the council’s activities in the future.
In addition to annual events like Arts on the Common and quarterly poetry readings, the Cultural Council also awards grants addressing cultural needs specific to the community, following state guidelines. The state provides an annual appropriation to the Massachusetts Cultural Council, which then allocates funds to each community.
For more information about the Wrentham Cultural Council or to contact the board with further questions and information, email [email protected].