First Annual Sunflower Art Festival in Gardiner to Celebrate Community and Art

Tuthilltown Spirits Distillery hosts a day of art, music, and food


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Calling all art and music enthusiasts! The first-annual Sunflower Art Festival on Saturday, August 8 in Gardiner combines art, music, food — and a 20-foot pink rabbit.

Held at Tuthill House at the Mill, the event mimics the East Village’s HOWL! Festival, which celebrates New York’s performance artists. Adds founder (and self-described “Chief Sunflower”) Liz Glover Wilson, the Sunflower Art Festival takes it one step further: it acts as a tribute to her sister, Esther Sanzo — a poet, philanthropist, and New York police officer who passed away in 2012.

tuthill house at the millThe inaugural Sunflower Art Festival takes place at Tuthill House at the Mill

“While she did not live in Gardiner, Esther loved to visit and it was in this area that [we] really bonded, admiring the sunflowers, taking long walks, and just enjoying the beautiful nature,” says Wilson. “She always encouraged me to stick with my art and personal expression. The concept of a community art festival seem to be a natural way for me to honor her.”

So it’s only appropriate that the highlight of the festival includes a “live art experience,” dubbed the Field of Sunflowers project, in which 50 artists of all skill levels and ages create paintings — inspired by Esther’s favorite flower — together. (Note: pre-registration is required; click here to sign up.) The Esther’s Kids Art Tent offers healthy snacks and juice to children looking to explore their inner artist with crafts, face-painting, and games, too.

Two stages host live performances by 15 local bands, including the Lindsey Webster Band, Acoustic Mandala Project, Heritage OP, the Shoe String Band, and the Swing Swift Orchestra.

In addition, nearly two-dozen vendors and gourmet food trucks — offering everything from classic barbecue to Mexican specialties — will be on hand. Attendees can also enjoy cheeses, desserts, beer, wine, and spirits throughout the day.

As for the 20-foot bunny? You’ll have to attend the festival to find out!

If you go…

Sunflower Art Festival
When: Saturday, August 8 from 10 a.m.-dusk. Rain date: Sunday, August 9
Where: Tuthilltown Spirits Distillery at Tuthill House at the Mill, 14 Grist Mill Lane, Gardiner
Cost: Free admission; $10 suggested donation
Details: 845-419-5219; www.sunflowerartfestival.com

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