Carlisle hosts Harvest of the Arts Festival to showcase local art


The 32nd annual Harvest of the Arts Festival was held in historic downtown Carlisle, Pa., on Saturday, Sept. 28.

More than 100 artists and craftspeople exhibited their work in pottery, leatherwork, photography, painting and many other mediums. Two stages showcased local musical talent, including Mad Men, Aerica Lauren and Ajay Shughart’s Rhythm on Main.

The Carlisle Theatre and Performing Arts Center offered live previews of upcoming performances of “Spamalot,” a Broadway musical comedy based on the film “Monty Python and the Holy Grail.”

A special addition this year was the Meeting of the Marques, a showcase of classic automobiles that celebrated their sculptural beauty. More than a dozen food vendors were on hand to solve any hunger or thirst issues, and street performers and an activities area for the children demonstrated the family-fun atmosphere.

Dave Klingensmith, a potter and retired art teacher from Coatesville, Pa., said this was his third year at the festival. It is one of four that he participates in every year.

Jennifer Shue, another ceramics artist and a resident of Carlisle, said it was the second year for her because the response to her work was so strong. For leatherworker Nick Duval of Kingston, Pa., this was his first show ever, after years of national success online.

Duval Leatherwork specializes in historic leather military reproductions, and some of his work is on display at the U.S. Army Heritage Education Center located in Carlisle.

His firm also provides historically accurate reproductions for many of the re-enactments groups nationwide.

Pat Craig, owner of Pat Craig Studios, said that activities like the Harvest Festival help the downtown area to grow stronger.

Craig is a founding member of the neighborhood merchants association, The Pomfret Group. The 11-member group, along with the Downtown Carlisle Association and other local businesses, host or support a number of events like the Harvest Festival that benefit the downtown and the community.

These events include: First Night, a nationwide non-profit program for family fun every New Year’s Eve; First Fridays, what Craig calls a weekly “meet and greet, get to know your neighbors” held in Carlisle’s Historic District; and the Downtown Carlisle Association’s weekly music series, Music in the Garden, showcasing local and regional music talent.

Just 18 miles north of Shippensburg, Carlisle is close enough to make it a local destination not just for major events like the Harvest of the Arts Festival, but for food, shopping, and entertainment year round. Check out lovecarlisle.com, carlisletheatre.org or firstnightcarlisle.org for more information.


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