Coronavirus won't end Rittenhouse Square Fine Art Show's historic streak

Despite the coronavirus pandemic, the Rittenhouse Square Fine Art Show will go on in June, as an online event.
Photo credit Courtesy of Rittenhouse Square Fine Art Show
PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Here’s a fun fact: Philadelphia's Rittenhouse Square Fine Art Show is the longest running art show in the country.

Despite the pandemic, that streak will continue June 5-7 as the show enters its 93rd year.

"It's one of the motivations, to say we're trying to keep the tradition alive," executive director Steve Oliver said. "We used to use that as a catch phrase, 'the tradition continues.'"

But like many other events, that tradition will have a very different look this time around because of coronavirus and crowd restrictions.

"So this year what we're doing is a virtual edition," explained Oliver. "We've got every artist represented. We've got profiles, a little bit about the artist, a little about their artwork and a few examples of their work."

And while you can't observe the art in person throughout Rittenhouse Square as visitors normally would, you can still learn how and why it was created.

"We're going to have Facebook live events throughout the weekend," added Oliver. "We're going to have Zoom meetings. Both of these will be inviting people into artists' studios, getting a demonstration, giving explanations of their creative processes."

Oliver said canceling the show altogether wasn't really an option because they didn't want to let the art lovers down. Some of them have been going to this show for decades.

The artists are happy about that too.

"We get emails every other day from artists thanking us for giving them at least some way to reach out and show their work," said Oliver.

The full list of artists and the schedule of events is available here.

Oliver hopes the September edition of the art show can return to Rittenhouse Square as planned.