BETHEL — The Bethel Chamber of Commerce and the Mahoosuc Arts Council are organizing the 27th annual Bethel Art Fair, scheduled from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, July 2.

The fair features dozens of vendors, businesses and other art-based organizations scattered throughout the downtown area and across the town common.

Jessie Perkins, events and marketing director for the Chamber, said the Chamber started the Bethel Art Fair 27 years ago and “did it for many years” after that.

Around the same time, the Mahoosuc Arts Council was organizing the annual MollyOckett Day festival.

“In 2009 or 2010, we switched,” Perkins said. “The chamber ended up organizing MollyOckett Day, while the Mahoosuc Arts Council took care of the Bethel Art Fair.”

Both groups organized their respective events for the next several years, Perkins said.

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However, this year Perkins said the Mahoosuc Arts Council needed some help organizing the Bethel Art Fair due to the “loss of a staff person.”

“The chamber, having done the organization of the Bethel Art Fair in the past, and having experience organizing other events, decided we could share the job with the arts council and organize the Bethel Art Fair together,” Perkins said.

In the lead-up to the Art Fair, the Chamber has been responsible for pre-planning, scheduling the event, and reaching out to vendors and groups to participate. The Mahoosuc Arts Council will be at the fair for assistance.

Several new elements are scheduled to make their inaugural appearances at this year’s fair, including “Mini Masterpieces,” where elementary students’ artwork will be displayed from 10 am. to 1 p.m. at Bethel Bait and Tackle and More on 7 Mechanic St.

Students from Telstar Regional Middle-High School will also have their art on display throughout the fair in the front gallery of 57 MAINe Arts on 57 Main St.

Perkins said the display of local student art is “something that’s pretty new” to the fair.

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“This is something that happens when we collaborate,” she said. “It brings some people out of the woodworks with some new ideas. We have a new volunteer who said she has some good connections with the schools, and we decided to try and get the elementary, middle, and high school students involved with this year’s Art Fair.”

From 10 a.m. to noon, DiCocoa’s Market is hosting several events, including giving residents an opportunity to craft their own bread sculpture, get their portraits done in charcoal by artist Sonia Albin, and an art display by artist Mattie Rose Templeton.

The Gem Theater will screen the film “Florence and the Uffizi Gallery” at 6 p.m. Friday, July 1, preceded by a 5 p.m. wine tasting.

M. Dirk MacKnight, an Andover photographer, will be the Artist of Honor for this year’s fair. His work will be displayed from 7 to 9 p.m. Friday, July 1, and from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, July 2, during a special opening at the Owen Art Gallery.

For more information on the Bethel Art Fair, call the Chamber at 207-824-2282.

[email protected]


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