A toast, spectacular June weather and a greater variety of artists celebrated the 30th Anniversary of “Art in the Barn” earlier this month.
What is now recognized as one of the North Shore’s premier showcases from some of the most-talented artists in the region also had its most successful year to date with robust attendance driving increased sales.
The annual transformation of the Cox Reservation barns into brilliant galleries, filled with diverse paintings, colorful ceramics and whimsical sculpture opened with a preview party on June 6 with music by The Tree House Charlatans, which has been playing at summer gatherings since 2011.
Twenty new artists were among the 135 exhibiting at the public opening held on June 7, with food trucks, beer and wine.
The focus of the art generally remains the capturing in some fashion Essex County nature, but attendees also remarked on the different art and a wider variety of subjects this year.
Saturday saw couples and families spending hours at Cox Reservation, strolling through the barns, but also exploring the property along the Great Marsh and having a picnic lunch.
For children, local author and scientist Bill Sargent read from his book Lilly & Minot Go to the Beach. Sargent has written several children’s books in the “Lilly and Minot” series about a princess who falls in love with a bull and has humorous adventures in science and marine biology.
The Saturday crowds were entertained with folk, Celtic, blues and country music from Paul Harty..
Prizes are not awarded at Art in the Barn, but the most unique work may have been sculpture created from articles found at the home of Frederick “Ted” Tarr, a Rockport selectman and Greenbelt supporter, who died late last year.
Wood and other materials from his home were reused and recycled to create the pieces.
Whether salt marshes portrayed in water colors, farms and field scenes in oils, blown glass or cigar box ukuleles, each year Greenbelt has more art, more visitors and provides more enjoyment from the event. 2020 will be no exception!