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‘Arts Expo 2020’ capitalizes on popular virtual exhibitions started in the spring 

It will come as no surprise that our beloved annual Artists of Rappahannock Fall Art Tour will not be held this year because of the pandemic. We’ll miss the excitement of the opening reception, marveling at the artwork, talking to artists in their studios and galleries, and enjoying the drive through the rolling hills of Rappahannock this fall. All of us look forward to the return of this celebratory community arts event in 2021. 

But, RAAC has refused to let COVID-19 prevent art lovers from exploring and experiencing Rappahannock artists. So, we have adapted to these challenging times and created three ways to enjoy, celebrate and support our Art Tour artists virtually:

— Virtual Art Exhibits

— Meet-the-Artists Interviews

— Upcoming Rappahannock Arts Expo 2020

Virtual Art Exhibits are now showcasing the work of Rappahannock artists each month to local and regional audiences. RAAC launched this series in May and it will continue through October. These virtual gallery shows are proving to be very successful in attracting large numbers of art lovers from all over the region. The most recent virtual exhibit opened on August 21, and large numbers of visitors continue to tour the shows. Don’t miss the September and October shows. 

Meet-the-Artists Interviews also began in May to accompany the opening of each monthly exhibition. These Zoom events allow artists to describe their work and discuss their creative processes to broad audiences. About 35 studio artists and galleries will have participated in this May-to-October virtual series. It’s easy for you to tour any of these virtual galleries and to stream any of the recorded Meet-the-Artists videos, as well as the Virtual Art Exhibits, by going to: www.fallarttour.org 

Rappahannock Arts Expo 2020 is coming in November. It will highlight artists and galleries who previously participated in the Fall Art Tour. Each artist and gallery (including local guest artists) will have their own 2-D exhibit of up to 12 images of artwork, along with descriptive information, contact and website links. Artists in one of the May-to-October virtual exhibits will also have links to their recorded Meet-the-Artist interviews and virtual art shows.

Our aim with all the virtual programs has been to create wider public exposure for local artists during these isolating times and it seems to be working with a dramatic surge in visits to the Fall Art Tour website and Facebook page. There has been a 600 percent increase since the virtual exhibitions were launched in May. We hope this will translate into more sales and actual visits to the county in the near future. 

The many devoted fans of Rappahannock artists and RAAC’s Fall Art Tour can visit www.fallarttour.org to learn more about our local artists, enjoy their work virtually, and arrange to contact them individually. For a video reminder of all the reasons RAAC’s Fall Art Tour is such a treasured event, go to www.raac.org/fall-art-tour/ and click on the video.


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