Top Ranked Art Festival Returns to Alexandria July 28, 2009
Media Release                                                                                                    Media Contact:
                                                    Emily Hellewell, 703.746.3309,
                                                         Merrie Morris, 703.746.3306,
Local Artists Featured in 7th Annual Alexandria Festival of the Arts,
Torpedo Factory Art Activated
Create Weekend Celebration of the Arts

Saturday, September 12, 10 a.m. - 7 p.m.
Sunday, September 13, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Admission is free and open to the public.

King Street in Alexandria's Old Town; from Washington Street to the Waterfront
Navigational address: 480 King Street, Alexandria, Virginia 22314

ALEXANDRIA, VA (July 28, 2009) - The Alexandria Festival of the Arts celebrates its 7th anniversary on September 12-13, 2009, as King Street in Alexandria's Old Town is transformed into a world-class outdoor art gallery complete with 200 artists, including three Alexandria-based artists and $15 million in artwork available for sale. Admission is free and open to the public.

The weekend of art comes alive at the Torpedo Factory Art Center's Art Activated on Saturday, September 12, from noon to 4 p.m. Extend the creative experience of Alexandria Festival of the Arts by stepping inside the Torpedo Factory among the open artist studios and galleries for an afternoon filled with exciting programming and interactivity. The 3rd annual, free Art Activated program lets visitors be a part of the creative process with hands-on projects, artist demonstrations and special activities that are great for kids and families too.

Other weekend events include Children in the Church Yard, with family friendly activities from 1-4 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, September 12-13 at Christ Church, 118 North Washington Street. On Saturday from 5:30-7:30 p.m., live swing band music will be playing in Market Square at 301 King Street.

The Alexandria Festival of the Arts, produced by Howard Alan Events, is ranked one of the top 100 festivals in the country by Sunshine Artist, the nation's leading publication for art and craft shows. It is included on the Harris List, an inventory of art shows recommended by the artists and craftsmen who have attended them, as one of the nation's best art shows. The artists are selected for quality and diversity of content by a jury of independent expert judges-including one local Alexandria artist-from hundreds of applicants. All of the artwork is original and handmade in America.

At the Festival this year three local Alexandria artists have been chosen to display their work. From watercolor to hand-painted photography and folk art, the range of art produced by Jane Andrle Gillette, Ed Hirschfield and Patricia Palermino is representative of the depth of the festival artists, while exhibiting the talent of the local art community. More information about each of the Alexandria artists is below.

"The annual Alexandria Festival of the Arts celebrates the arts and culture that define Alexandria as a creative community," said Alexandria Mayor William D. Euille. "This festival showcases some of the best artists in the nation, alongside the world-renowned Torpedo Factory Art Center and the many art galleries and boutiques throughout the city making Alexandria one of this country's top arts destinations."

All artists participating in the Festival will line the six blocks of King Street from Union to Washington streets, which will be closed to traffic, transforming Old Town into a world-class outdoor gallery. The public can meet and talk with the artists personally, asking questions about their art and inspirations. Artistic media represented include paintings, sculptures, photos, glass, wood, jewelry, collage and ceramics.

The Alexandria Festival of the Arts makes the arts accessible to a broad audience. Prices range from $25 hand-designed earrings to $20,000 metal sculptures. The event appeals to those looking for a free and fun weekend activity, as well as serious art buyers looking to add to their collections.


Biographies of Alexandria-Based Artists Featured in the 2009 Alexandria Festival of the Arts (interviews available upon request):

Jane Andrle Gillette

Jane Andrle Gillette, of Alexandria, Virginia, is a phenomenal watercolor artist with a keen eye for detail and color. She draws her inspiration from her surroundings and experiences. Gillette's beautiful images of street scenes, historic homes, cities around the world and flowers capture a sense of calm serenity and tranquility.

Ed Hirschfield
Hand-colored photography

Photographer Ed Hirschfield discovered the magic of picture taking at age 13. Working exclusively in black and white film, not digital, Hirschfield sticks close to the traditions of the craft. Color and light are important aspects in the final product. Hirschfield has been known to wait for hours just for the right angle of light and then meticulously hand-paints individual prints to add the right punch of color in the perfect spot. His new work involves distressing and laminating multiple negatives using antique cameras. The combined negatives are then printed, toned and hand-painted. Graduating with a degree in fine arts-photography from The George Washington University, Hirschfield is back at home in Alexandria, Virginia, working on producing images from the new series.

Patricia Palermino
American folk art painter

For the last 20 years, Patricia Palermino's paintings have spanned the range of contemporary folk art depicting quaint villages, festivals, fairs and parades in Alexandria, Virginia; Washington, D.C. and New York City. She captures Americana through its cities, countryside, seacoasts, farmlands and forests focusing on primitive folk art prints and historical folk art prints that portray a true experience of those places. Using vibrant colors and a cast of playful characters, Palermino creates an array of magical scenes that combine a whimsical spirit with a hint of nostalgia.

About Alexandria, Virginia
Consistently listed among the Top 25 Arts Destinations by American Style Magazine, Alexandria is nationally recognized for its abundant art scene alongside 18th- and 19th-century architecture, historic attractions, award-winning restaurants and eclectic shopping. With four Metro stations and a range of hotels to suit every taste, Alexandria is the perfect gateway to all that Greater Washington, D.C. has to offer. For a complete listing of annual events in Alexandria, go to