After skipping last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Brunswick Arts Festival is back this year, but on a smaller scale.

Now in its 15th year, the art show is hosted by Brunswick Downtown Association and will take place on Maine Street on Aug. 21.

“There is still some hesitancy about the pandemic, so the event is a little smaller,” Brunswick Downtown Association Executive Director Debora King said. “However, what we are finding is a lot of new artists are coming in, and having a few fewer artists works better in our favor because we can socially distance the tents and spread them out a little bit more than what we’ve been able to do in the past, so this works out well work us.”

Over 80 artists, crafters, and emerging creators will feature and sell items ranging from ceramics and painting to jewelry, fiber, photography, and mixed media. In the past, the festival saw around 115 artists participate.

A visitor at the Brunswick Arts Festival that was held in 2019 Brunswick Downtown Association

“We have utilized some side streets in the past, we don’t want to do that anymore. We had a lot of artists participate in the last couple of years and it was almost too much, so cutting back a bit is going to work well for us this year,” said King.

“It’s a juried art show, where high-quality items will be on sale. The artists can’t just bring in stuff from where ever and resell it. It’s more of a high-caliber show, so we are excited about that,” added King.

Art demonstrations will include blacksmithing, weaving, and woodturning.

The art show will also have many activities for kids like face painting, storybook reading and glitter tattoos.

Katie Coppens, a local children’s book author, a 2021 finalist for the Maine Literary Award for young people’s literature, and a teacher at Falmouth Middle School, will be reading stories to the kids out of her STEM-themed four-part series book ‘The Acadia Files’ and later demonstrate some science experiments from the book during the event at the Town Mall.

The book is about a 5th grader from Acadia who learns different science concepts in each chapter, then does an experiment based on the concept in the chapter.

“For the demo, I will be reading a chapter and show some experiments and activities that the kids can do from the book,” said Coppens. “Every chapter gives insights on different life situations and how one can solve conflict through science. I will have all experiment materials out, so kids can come up and explore them. The goal is to get the kids excited as all these experiments are hands-on.”

Katie Coppens, the author of The Acadia Files. Contributed

Coppens said the idea behind writing the series is to get children excited about science and see how it connects to their life. “My students very much inspire me. I like to get them excited about science and nature and be curious and ask questions. I will have many different things set up at the demo session, so kids can come and participate. It’s going to be fun, and I am looking forward to it,” she said.

The festival will also see live music performances. However, there will not be any food vendors at the venue this year. The event organizers say they want people to take advantage of outdoor and indoor dining experiences downtown.

“We purposely do not have any food vendors this year as we want people to explore the restaurants in downtown Brunswick. There are 36 restaurants for people to stop and eat something, and we strongly encourage that,” said King. “It’s a great day for artists, residents, and visitors. It’s an opportunity to come out and support the arts and spend a wonderful day in Brunswick downtown.”

The event is free to attend and there are no COVID restrictions.

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