Paso Robles Art in the Park Happens April 28, 29
Steve Powers, a professional arts and craft show organizer and promoter, will bring his well-known art show and market to downtown Paso Robles later this month. The show is a reinvention of Paso Robles ArtFest, which had been put on by Studios on the Park for eight years. In early 2017, Studios on the Park, organizers of the popular festival, announced that it would not longer be producing the event, or any similar event in Paso Robles.
When Powers found out — soon after the announcement was released — he contacted the city of Paso Robles to see if he could produce a similar event, though markedly different. His proposal was well-received, the Paso Robles City Council approved the event in August 2017.
Paso Robles Art in the Park will differ from Paso Robles Art Fest in that it will be a high-quality art show without the hands-on art activities and multiple entertainment throughout the event. The reason for that, Powers said, is that all of those take a huge number of volunteers as well as time to put into the event. He speculates that the event became more time intensive than the nonprofit art organization could give.
“It became a massive event that took a lot of time from Studios on the Park,” Powers said. “Our show will be totally different.”
To keep it manageable, he is mirroring the Paso Robles event on the successful art show he has managed for the last two years, one that has been continuously happening the last 63 years. Powers took over organizing the Morro Bay Art in the Park from the Morro Bay Art Association in 2016. The Morro Bay festival takes place three days over the weekends of Memorial Day, Fourth of July, and Labor Day. When Fourth of July falls in the middle of the week, the event is held the weekend after. This year, the shows will take place Saturday, May 26 through Monday, May 28; Saturday, July 7 through Sunday, July 8; and Saturday, Sept. 1 through Monday, Sept. 3. All shows are open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more on the Morro Bay show, go to MorroBayArtInThePark.com.
The Paso Robles show, to be held April 28 to 29 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., will have a third more vendors than the Morro Bay show. Though the Morro Bay market is constrained by the small park, it inhabit Morro Bay Boulevard at 33,000 square feet. The Downtown City Park in Paso Robles is 200,000 square feet and will only be constrained by attendance.
The first year of the event, he is capping the number of exhibitors at 120 to get the event off the ground and not split the number of dollars spent between too many artisans. He said that the event will be expanded as attendance allows. The Morro Bay show sees 6,000 people over the three-day event and Powers expects the Paso Robles show to see 3,000 people per day.
“Exhibitors are excited about it,” Powers said. “A lot of people who did Morro Bay signed up and a lot of people who didn’t do the Morro Bay show signed up.”
He said that 50 percent of the vendors are from San Luis Obispo and 50 percent are from out of the area. Right now, he has artists from four different states lined up for the first Paso Robles show. As of mid-March, Powers had 110 vendors signed up and expects that it will be full by the event. Artists interested in signing up or joining the wait list in the event of openings, can contact Powers at 805-440-8318, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Over the years, it should grow to 150 exhibitors,” Powers said. “We have plenty of room. We’ll grow as the public allows.”
The event is exclusively sponsored by Castoro Cellars, which will advertise the event on its billboard on Highway 101. Though the Morro Bay event has a few food vendors on-site, Powers said that since the park is surrounded by restaurants, he didn’t find it feasible to bring in additional food.
For more information about the show, go to pasoroblesartinthepark.com.