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  • Writer's pictureESSEX FREE PRESS

Art by the River continues to grow

by Garrett Fodor

Artists showed off their talents and share their creations with the community, while supporting each other, this past weekend as the Gibson Gallery hosted its 53rd annual “Art by the River” event at Fort Malden National Historic Site in Amherstburg.

  Each year, the event brings together artists and vendors, who take advantage of the opportunity to sell handmade items and art to community members.

  This year, vendors came from as far as Manitoba to participate. The two-day event helps to raise funds for the Gibson Gallery, which displays and promotes local artists as well as traveling exhibits. 

  Bonnie Deslippe is the Office Administrator for the Gibson Gallery. Deslippe has been involved in the Art by the River event for 15-years. Originally, she participated as an exhibitor, but has been the Exhibitor Chairperson for the last four years.

Deslippe said the 2019 event was the most successful yet for Art by the River. It was estimated that 10,000 people stopped by to take in the event this year.

“This year, we had to add an additional 15 spots and we were filled in May with 175 vendors, which is the biggest the show has ever been,” Deslippe said. “This year, we had record attendance, with over 10,000 people attending throughout the weekend.

  “One thing that we are proud of about this event is that we are supporting the Town of Amherstburg itself. We are hoping people will go and support the local restaurants and shops while they come to Art by the River. It’s grown and is something people and businesses look forward to signify the end of summer.”

  The event featured something for all ages, from young painter workshops and face painting to live musical entertainment and museum tours. Deslippe said her favourite part of the event is hearing the music throughout the grounds, while taking in the scenery along the water.

  This annual event, she added, would not be possible without the support of the Gibson Gallery’s Board of Directors, which is a group that is passionate about the arts and the Gallery.

  Deslippe hopes to continue to grow the event and promote local artists for years to come. 


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