WATERTOWN — A “Midsummer Dream” this weekend will give local artists a chance to display and market their creations in these days of COVID-19 cautions.
Like many artists who found themselves without a physical outlet to display their works because of the pandemic, Alice Elisabeth Waite saw art shows that she had anticipated taking part in this summer being canceled because of social distancing guidelines. A solo exhibit of her work scheduled for River Muse Art Gallery & Studio in Clayton was just one of her canceled engagements.
So she looked around the grounds at her Mundy Street home built in 1888 and located on the north side of Watertown and found a solution.
Ms. Waite is taking advantage of that expanse of space, coupled with social distancing guidelines, to host the pop-up gallery “Midsummer Dream” from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. The works of nine artists will be featured.
“I’ve been thinking of having a show here at my home for a while now,” Ms. Waite said. “I thought this was the opportunity ... to use the space that I have. ... All over the world, people in the arts are being affected (by COVID). They’re not getting the same exposure as they normally would, so I was hoping to do this exhibition with some other local artists and help each other out.”
Ms. Waite is a graduate of the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree and minor in art history. She was born in the United Kingdom, raised in New York City and has been immersed in art since childhood.
As a way of managing the flow of people to Midsummer Dream, guests are requested to sign up for time slots at the event’s website: midsummerart.com. The time slots, from 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. both days, are for up to five people and for one-half hour.
Face masks will be required and Ms. Waite will have social distancing guidelines in place.
“The space is pretty big here,” she said. “People will be able to be in the back yard and not be squashed together.”
The general theme of the show is creations inspired by nature.
“I’ve always lived near the water, but the Thousand Islands region is really inspirational,” said Ms. Waite, who grew up near Rockaway Beach in Queens.
Ms. Waite and her partner, Julian Mangano, moved to the north country in 2016 from New York City and purchased 5 acres in Lewis County, where they created the organic farm Della Terra. The couple lives in Watertown and commutes to the farm, located near Whetstone Gulf State Park.
“Our best market was in Watertown when we were going to the farmers market,” Ms. Waite said. “So we looked at a home here.”
“Midsummer Dream” will feature a broad spectrum of art, ranging from sculpture, photography and jewelry design. Artist Kristy Hoover was invited to create a sculpture garden for the event.
Ms. Hoover, Watertown, is an adjunct art instructor at Jefferson Community College, and a graduate assistant at SUNY Oswego. She’s also pursuing a master’s degree at SUNY Oswego. She’s known for her sculptures and ceramic work.
“She’s an amazing artist and I wanted to get her involved because I have a large backyard and garden space,” Ms. Waite said. “She’s making a bunch of new works to fit into the sort of sculpture garden theme.”
Those items range from ceramic garden stakes to hanging bird baths.
“I went over to look at the space and garden area,” Ms. Hoover said. “I figured on doing a bunch of new works that have to do with outdoor gardening.”
Art at the show will be for sale.
“With the pandemic and everything that’s been happening, it’s been really hard for artists to do any sales with all the shows being canceled,” Ms. Hoover said. “This was an opportunity to do some new work. It’s been work I’ve been wanting to do for a while, but I was so focused on other things.”
In addition to Ms. Waite and Ms. Hover, the seven other artists at the Midsummer Dream group art exhibition to display their works are Paige Stevens, Sharon Hughto, Stow Dunham, Destiny Pearline, Felix Caballero, Samantha Walker and Kristen Warren.
Vocalist Brittany Cean will provide music from 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday, and guitarist Gary Walts will perform from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday. After this weekend, the exhibit will be on view by appointment only through Aug. 30.