The Washington Square Park Outdoor Art Exhibit is one of our favorite park events of the year: a chance to browse the work of the many artists that make our West Village neighborhood a mecca for those who create.
It's been happening since 1931, when Jackson Pollock, in desperate need of rent money, dragged a few of his paintings down from his Greenwich Village studio and set up shop on the sidewalk near the park. A fellow poverty-stricken artist, Willem DeKooning, soon joined him. (Not a bad start, huh?)
The show is now populated with artists (and art lovers) from all around the world. Graphics, mixed media, oils and acrylics, watercolor, jewelry, metal work, glass, ceramics, wood and sculpture...you'll find them all here. Exhibitors are selected by a jury of their fellow artists, and the accepted mediums now include photography and crafts (as long as they're one-of-a-kind and hand-made). Cash prizes are awarded by the artist judges in various categories.
The event takes place on four weekends throughout the summer: Memorial Day weekend, and the weekend after (May 27-29 and June 3-4) and Labor Day weekend, plus the weekend that follows (September 2-4 and September 9-10).
The artists set up on the sidewalks of University Place from East 13th Street, continuing south along the east side of the park to West 3rd Street, and the daily exhibition runs from noon to 6 pm. The event itself is free, but bring some cash in case you see something you like!
Image via Rebecca Pearson