Chelsea Painters Art Fair Returns in June After a Two-Year Hiatus

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By Andy Nixon, STN Reporter

In June, twenty award-winning artists will gather to display and sell fine art originals across all mediums, including watercolor, acrylic, oil, pastel, gouache, encaustic, mosaic, colored pencil, and mixed media.

Since the late 1960s, a diverse group of painters has gathered weekly to learn techniques, paint, and spend time with like-minded artists to grow their talents. Beginning with art classes taught by Betty Maxwell at the Art Center in Chelsea (where the CVS now is), the group eventually outgrew their studio space and expanded to the basement of what was the Eye Clinic of the Chelsea Medical Center. In 1974, Betty helped establish the first art show and sale in conjunction with the opening of the Chelsea Community Hospital surgical wing. Today, the group holds weekly meetings at the Washington Street Adult Education Center in Chelsea. Several past and current members of the Chelsea Painters are recognized on the local and national levels.

For 38 years, the annual art fair was held on the grounds of Chelsea Community Hospital. While continuing to grow, the art fair has settled in at the Chelsea Community Fairgrounds. This year the event is planned for June 11th & 12th from 10 am to 5 pm each day. After being postponed for two years due to Covid, the artists are ready to display. Located one block off Main Street, the art fair will be split between indoor and outdoor spaces with plenty of parking available. Stop by to meet the artists, view their work, and take home a piece of local art.

The group has exhibited at the University of Michigan Power Center of the Performing Arts, University of Michigan Taubman Center, Ella Sharp Museum, and more. In today's world, art allows us to escape and explore life through the eyes of the artist. Longtime member Janice Botsford mentions “Art is an essential part of my own self-expression as I try to communicate thoughts and feelings in response to both external and internal worlds. For me, the complexity of life is forever inspiring; there is always something challenging and new around the corner”.

To become a member, artists must be juried in and sponsored by a current Chelsea Painter. Intermediate to advanced skill level is required for all potential artists. Membership is limited to 25 painters, plus lifetime members. Weekly meetings take place between mid-September and May. After making the cut, members participate in workshops on various painting techniques, help critique each other's work, and seek out venues to exhibit their paintings.

Painting is a great activity that should be enjoyed by all ages. After a stressful day, nothing compares to sitting in front of a blank canvas or paper to create your masterpiece. 

For more information, including artist bios and work, visit: chelseapainters.com

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