Wendy and Steve Denenberg, former owners of Create A Frame/Handworks Gallery on Washington Road for more than 40 years, have been the organizers of the Mt. Lebanon Partnership’s Artists’ Market since 2014. This year’s Artists’ Market is October 1-2 in the Academy Avenue parking lot.
How did the idea for an Artists’ Market come about?
In 2010, the Partnership started the Mt. Lebanon Plein Air event. Wendy and I were instrumental in the planning of that event. For many years the Rotary ran Art in the Park.
When they could no longer manage it, they approached the Partner-ship to take it over. Having spent our entire careers in the art field, and always wanting to run an arts festival in Mt. Lebanon, we were the logical choice to create a new event up on Washington Road. We brought it to Uptown, so as to expose more people to our wonderful business district. From the time we opened our business in 1975, Steve has been involved in many events on the road, starting with the World’s Largest Garage Sale!
How has the Market changed since 2014?
We transformed the show from a local event to a multi-state juried art festival. We have artists who have come from as far away as St. Louis, New York, Ohio, West Virginia, as well as many Mt. Lebanon and local artists. Each year, as our reputation grows, so does our number of applicants. We have added children’s events, and offered live entertainment in the past.
What’s the hardest part of planning a successful festival?
The hardest part of running a festival is not being able to accept as many artists as we would like. While we always have a waiting list, this year’s list was exceptionally long. Unfortunately, due to space limitations and trying to allow for potential covid restrictions, we are limited with how many artists we can accept. Our jurors must take into consideration the following when selecting artists: covering all different types of media, for example, photography, painting, woodworking, jewelry, fiber arts, sculpture and mixed media. We try to have a variety of price ranges, and appeal to a wide range of tastes.