57th Annual Bath County Art Show
Saturday, July 16 – Sunday, July 24
* Admission is free *
Valley Elementary School
98 Panther Drive
Hot Springs, VA 24445
Get directions >
As we approach the 57th Annual Bath County Art Show, it’s a perfect time to reflect on the amazing growth of the show and the joy that comes from having art in our lives. The arts and cultural community is thriving in Bath County. The Bath County Arts Association wants to ensure that it stays that way for future generations.
Our blog today features a conversation with Mindy Brooks, Chair of the Board of Directors of the Bath County Arts Association.
Q. What is the Bath County Arts Association (BCAA) and what kind of programs does it support in the community?
BCAA is a nonprofit, volunteer organization committed to supporting the arts in Bath County for the benefit of the entire community. We give grants to underwrite arts programming, provide scholarships to high school students, offer tuition assistance for art education to adults, and run the area’s largest art show. In recent years, we helped launch a children’s dance program, sponsored an outdoor mural, assisted two independent filmmakers, offered a variety of art workshops, and funded bands at community events.
Q. The annual Bath County Art Show is one of the association’s major events. How has it grown over the years and what is the Bath County Arts Association’s vision for the future of this show?
The Art Show originated in 1965, and we’re about to hold our 57th event starting on July 16. From the start, the goal of the show has been to give regional artists an easy and inexpensive venue for showing and selling their work. It’s not a juried show, and anyone over the age of 18 can enter. (The entry fee is just $15 per work, and artists keep 70 percent of the selling price, which is part of the show’s appeal.) Plus, last year we gave out $15,000 in prize money. The show is free to attend, and it runs for nine days. There’s really nothing like it anywhere in our part of Virginia.
Q. The Bath County Art Show is truly a regional show. How many artists are expected to participate and from how far away do artists travel to enter their work?
This year, we expect more than 200 artists, most of whom will be from Virginia and our surrounding states. We also have a few artists who come from as far away as Nevada. These long-distance participants have a personal connection to Bath County and find a way to show their work here year after year.
Q. The variety of the artwork on display is impressive. It covers almost every imaginable medium and all kinds of styles, from realism to abstract. If visitors fall in love with a piece, can they purchase it and take it home?
The art at our show covers a wide range of styles and media, so we like to say there’s something for everyone, and the price range reflects that. Some works sell for less than $100; others are priced in the thousands. All artwork sold during the show stays on display until the last day, July 24. So, no matter when visitors stop by, all the artwork is there for people to see.
Q. What is the best time to visit the Bath County Art Show?
The art show runs from Saturday, July 16 to Saturday, July 23 from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday, July 24 from 10 a.m. to noon. Admission to the show is free. The best time to visit is when you have a chance to leisurely walk through the venue. The show takes place at Valley Elementary School in Hot Springs, and we fill the classrooms and hallways with wonderful works of art — more than 600 pieces. You don’t want to rush through this art show — there’s so much to see.
Q. Aside from this fantastic art show, what are some other examples of how the arts community is thriving in Bath County?
Bath County’s music scene has been growing. In addition to the Garth Newel Music Center, which has excellent programming throughout the year, you’ll find good bands at many community events, including the annual Bluegrass Jamboree. There’s also live music at the Bacova Beer Company in Hot Springs and at Foodlore, a food-centric gathering on Friday evenings in Warm Springs.