Monday, August 3, 2009

Art in the Park

Art in the Park takes place in St Georges Park every first Sunday of the month. Years ago when the market started it was a huge affair with over a hundred stalls scattered all along the park's pathways. Only hand made good were allowed in those early days. As the years went on the number of stall declined and people were also allowed to have bric and brac (the kind of stuff you would normally throw out, but here you buy it cause its antique) stalls. Over the last year or so the number of stalls at Art in the Park has dwindled. I went to the market on Sunday for the first time in quite a while and was shocked at how few stalls there were. Maybe its because its winter, but the day was an awesome one and those people there (and there were quite a few) had a wonderful time in the warm outdoors.


  1. I'va also noticed a decline in Art in the Park over the years, which is really sad. It's a great use of St George's park and a lovely way to spend a Sunday morning.

  2. I actually started Art in The Park in 1977 with the Autum festival which ran for one week and it was only under the old St Georges Cricket stand pavillion, it proved popular and we did it again the following year.

    I had to get special permission to trade on a Sunday and we put it under the auspices of the EPFSA Eastern province Fine Art Society and the then treasure Jerry Boulton.

    I managed to get permission to run it on the First Sunday of the month which was my slogan , as it was too complicated to put up dates.

    I started it with 5 crafters, pebble people, a macrame person [thnk it was Mrs Shepard], a potter Mrs Zeelie,Mrs Deysel who crocheted spanish dolls and a toy maker renet Bray I think was her name plus the art and craft stuff I brought along, and my accountant Edna Williams who did the books and made sure everone was paid.

    It grew over the years and many people earned a living from the Park and gave up full time employment as they only needed the one sale day to generate sufficient income, [between the 80s to the 90s]

    There was much controversy the traders who came later had as much right to sell as it came down to what people bought as no sales, the person did not come back so the very people of PE made the park what it is or was.

    The popularity made the council spend money from the bequethed estate [name eludes me but I think they put up a plaque] to upgarde the paths and fix up the flower beds and the old band stand

    There was a City Councilor at the time and the City Parks director and Clayton Halliday who supported me on the venture and assited me to get the permits and stuff to trade,I was 18 at the time and enjoyed wonderful support from the Editor of the Herald and the other Old Newspapers the Weekend Post and the Evening Post and the Afrikaans daily as well.His name also eludes me but they all got behind me to make it happen.

    It took almost 3 years to get the project up and running and another 2 years before it became entrenched as a Sunday outing where half of PE would come and see what was going on.

    Many people had an affordanble way to sell their goods I think the first months I charged R10.00 a day for the stall, and all the money went to the EPFSA plus I instituted a bursary scheme from the profits as part of the deal with them., I do not know how many students have benefited from it, as I left the association and the Park because I actually never made a scent out of my creation.