Art in August: Business Participation

Winchester Businesses: Be Part of Art in August!


What is it?

For more than 15 years, the Winchester Artists’ Network (WAN) has been working with Winchester businesses during the quiet doldrums of August to turn our beautiful, uniquely walkable downtown into a vibrant artist colony, showcasing local artists and businesses. During the entire month, artwork is displayed in many shop windows, while fluttering pink, yellow, and orange streamers announce “Art Here! Come in, there’s more to see.” Thursday evenings are enlivened by artist-led tours of the window displays; “meet the artists” receptions; and other events, like scavenger hunts.

How does it work?

Participating businesses will display artwork from one or more artists (preferably some of which will be visible in window displays). Host businesses pay a fee of $50 to defray the costs of posters, map guides to art displays, and other promotional materials (such as press releases and advertising). Artists pay a fee of $20.

WAN will be responsible for pairing businesses and artists. We take into account the suitability of the artwork and display conditions (e.g., no watercolors or pastels in South facing windows) when matching artists with host businesses. The details of the artwork display–the number of pieces, where and how they are displayed–are agreed upon by the artist and host, with the final decision left to the host business. WAN has considerable experience and materials for display and may be called upon to help answer questions or concerns in displaying artwork.

Host businesses will be provided streamers and window posters signifying their participation. The posters will also have information on events, such as receptions and art walks, occurring during the month. An “art map” or tour guide showing the names and locations of participating businesses, as well as the names and media of the artists, will also be provided. We also plan to have one or more art-related events in conjunction with the Farmers’ Market, at least one of which will be focused on activities for families and kids.

Interested businesses may chose to host a “Meet the Artists” reception on a Thursday evening. In the past there have been more artists wishing receptions than business hosts, so some artists have brought along and shared their work at existing receptions. The details of the reception—the staging, refreshments, etc.—are agreed upon by the artist(s) and the business host, who has the final word on all arrangements. Artists are expected to share expenses and to promote the event.

What are the benefits of being a host?

Acting as a business host for Arts in August offers many great benefits for you as a town business:

  • An opportunity to generate more attention and traffic to your business during a very quiet month.
  • An opportunity to participate in making downtown a bit more noticeable.
  • An invitation to help folks get out of cars and see what’s going on and available downtown.
  • New relationships with interesting and creative people.
  • A chance to take part in something out of the ordinary, interesting, engaging—and a lot of fun!

We also welcome volunteers to help write articles and help with Art in the Park.

We hope you will join us for the 2016 return of Art in August!

For more information, please contact Bob Hesse: or Don Daniel:

Winchester (Massachusetts) Artists’ Network (WAN) was founded in 1999 to establish a working forum for local artists in our community. As an organization, and with the support of the Winchester Friends of Art, WAN promotes the increased presence of art in our community through exhibitions, education and excellence in the visual arts.


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