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56th annual Ways Garden Art and Craft Show

Sunday in the park with art

June 3, 2012
BY KRISTA STORM ( , Williamsport Sun-Gazette

The Ways Garden Art and Craft Show is a springtime tradition that is held in high regard in Williamsport. This year will celebrate 56 years of inviting the public free of charge to stroll through a garden on a lovely afternoon, listen to music and enjoy the creativity of local artists and craftspeople. The event will begin at 11 a.m. June 10 and, weather permitting, will be held at Ways Garden Park, corner of Maynard and East Fourth streets. In the case of rain, the garden exhibit will relocate to the YWCA.

The event is sponsored by the Bald Eagle Art League again this year, and BEAL is proud of their association with the event. Gretchen Mangiardi, vice president of BEAL, and Deb Trate, membership committee member for BEAL, are co-chairing the event. Lynne Maietta, a BEAL member who is assisting with the coordination of the event, expects most participants to be from Lycoming County, but some artists also come from neighboring counties, she said.

"So far about 20 artists are registered; however, many last minute artists are anticipated. A variety of artists usually attend - from painters to wood turners to photographers and many others," Maietta said.

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Sun-Gazette File Photo

One of the artists participating in this year's show is BEAL member Lynne Kibbe of Trout Run. She will be displaying oil and watercolor originals, prints and scratchboard works. Scratchboard is a technique in which drawings are created by scratching through layers of clay-coated board that is covered with India ink. Many layers of multi-colored clay and ink can be used as well, and the amount of pressure and etching will determine the color and design. It is a very precise medium that allows for lots of details and textures. Kibbe wants to bring more attention to the scratchboard technique.

"I have been doing scratchboard for about two years, but I have been painting and doing artwork for about 25 years," said Kibbe. "It started out as a hobby but as of last year, I am trying to show more in the area."

Kibbe participated in the event last year.

"I will have about nine full walls of artwork displayed," she said. Most of her work will be framed, but she will also have a rack of unframed prints available.

"I want to publicize the [scratchboard] medium. It has really evolved into a fine art form," Kibbe added. She will be attending the International Society of Scratchboard Artists exhibition in California later this summer.

The show is a feast for all the senses. According to Deb Trate, co-chair of the event, musicians will be performing throughout the day.

Scheduled to perform are Troy Stafford, soloist, who will be strolling through the garden from noon to 1 p.m., singing mostly Frank Sinatra songs, Ben and Ruth King singing contemporary Christian songs from 1 to 1:30 p.m. and the Repasz Band performing from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m.

There is one particular rule that is unique to the historic show.

"According to Mr. Way's will, no money is to be exchanged within the gates of the park. Anyone wishing to purchase artwork or crafts should step out of the park to exchange money [with the vendor]," said Maietta.

Interested in displaying your own creative endeavors? There is still time to get involved. Interested participants may still sign up to display their artwork, but their name will not be in the program. Applications to participate are accepted through the day of the event, Maietta said. The cost is $15 unless the artist is a BEAL member with up-to-date paid dues.

"Participants must supply whatever they need for set-up and will choose a space in the park to set up on a first-come, first-served basis," she added.

"The Ways Garden Art and Craft Show is a Williamsport tradition and provides a family-friendly event for a wonderful Sunday in the park," Maietta said.

For more information about the event and to sign up, visit or contact Gretchen Mangiardia at



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