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Pelham Art Festival draws big crowds

Show and sale featured works of 90 artists over three days at MCC

There’s something about the Pelham Art Festival that keeps Robert VandenDool coming back.

“I like the atmosphere here,” the St. Catharines man said as he worked on a painting at the show being held at the Meridian Community Centre. “The show is quite nice. It’s fun.”

On Sunday, the final day of the three-day festival, VandenDool was keeping busy between customers by working on a portrait of a hyena.

For his creations, VanderDool pulls out his paints to reproduce photos he’s taken on his travels.

“I go on a lot of trips,” he said with a smile. “I get to relive that trip when I come back here and paint.”

VandenDool wasn’t the only artist who was impressed by the festival. Lisa Leskien, of Sydenham, Ont., near Kingston, said it had been a great weekend at the festival.

“I heard about (the festival) online,” she said. “I wanted to know more about it.”

And now, after the weekend she had, a return next year is possible.

“I sold a large piece yesterday,” Leskien said. “And I’ve sold lots of prints and cards.”

Jill Andrews was spending the day in Niagara and when she heard about the festival, she decided to check it out with her family.

“We just love art,” she said.

This year’s festival was the 37th annual and presented the works of 90 artists who were at the community centre from Friday through Sunday.

The event also featured a scavenger hunt for children with art supplies as prizes for completing the hunt. There was also live entertainment all three days of the festival, including classical guitarist Adrian Papez, who performed at the event on Sunday.

An online version of the festival continues until May 30. Works may be viewed at