Washington Square Outdoor Art Show a ‘Labor Day’ of love

BY LINCOLN ANDERSON | In a traditional end-of-summer event, the sidewalks around Washington Square will be teeming with art over the next two weekends.

The occasion is the 89th annual fall show of the Washington Square Outdoor Art Exhibit.

Technically, it’s not fall yet. But it’s a fact that this “fall show” will feature nearly 100 artists and craft artisans selling their original creations directly to the public. The popular and free event attracts thousands each year.

Kristiana Parne, seen at last year’s Washington Square Outdoor Art Exhibit, will be selling her artwork again at the upcoming event. (Photo by Rebecca MB Pearson Photography)

The outdoor art extravaganza begins Labor Day weekend, Sat., Aug. 31 to Mon., Sept. 2, and continues the following weekend, Sat., Sept. 7 and Sun., Sept. 8.

It’s free to the public and runs from noon to 6 p.m. each day.

The artwork and crafts on display will be in all mediums — from painting, photography, jewelry and glass to woodworking, ceramics and mixed media, on sale directly from the artists themselves. 

Tracey Barbosa will be among the artists selling their work at the Washington Square Outdoor Art Exhibit. (Photo by Rebecca MB Pearson Photography)

Artists from all around the New York metropolitan area will be featured, along with artists from other parts of the U.S. and even from abroad, as well. 

The event is also a juried show and all registered artists are eligible in several award categories by medium. There will also be a “Best in Show” award. 

The Washington Square Outdoor Art Exhibit happens just twice a year, each spring and fall.  

Many kinds of crafts will also be on sale at the outdoor art show, sold by the artisans who created them. (Photo by Comport Candids)

The event takes place on University Place starting at E. 13th St. and continuing south along the east side of Washington Square Park to W. Third St. The southern end of the show encompasses Schwartz Plaza (a.k.a. Bobkin Lane) between New York University’s Shimkin Hall and Bobst Library.

​The outdoor show started from humble beginnings in 1931. Artists and friends Jackson Pollock and Willem de Kooning sold a few of their paintings from the sidewalk near Washington Square Park in order to make some much needed extra cash. The Washington Square Outdoor Art Exhibit went on to become a New York City art institution. 

For more information, visit www.WSOAE.org.

One Response to Washington Square Outdoor Art Show a ‘Labor Day’ of love

  1. Wouldn’t it be nice to pedestrianize University place and have the art fair where people get to park their cars on the street . Traffic volume on University place is very low and CB2 asked the city to make it a shared street.

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