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, where 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, including scavenger hunts.

How does it work?

Participating businesses agree to display work 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 providing posters, map guides to where art is displayed, and other promotional materials (including press releases and advertising). Artists are charged $20.

Interested businesses may choose 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 peripatetic artists have migrated for the evening (with representative art work) and shared receptions with the artist(s) whose work is displayed in the windows of the business host. The nature of the receptions, the staging, and the refreshments are negotiated among the artists and the business host, who has the last word on all arrangements. Artists are expected to share expenses and to promote the event.

WAN will handle the matching of businesses and artists. We are careful with regard to the suitability of the art for the space and take into account display conditions (e.g., no watercolors or pastels in south-facing windows). The number of pieces of artwork, where placed, and how they are displayed for the month is also a matter for negotiation—the last word, again, residing with the host business. WAN has considerable experience and materials for display and may be called upon to help resolve difficulties in displaying artwork.

Participating businesses will be provided with streamers and window posters to signal their participation. The posters will also have information on events such as receptions and art walks 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 hosted artists, will be provided to participants.

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. The biggest of these is Art in the Park, which offers art activities for all ages on the Winchester Common.

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 2017 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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