Artist Barbara Spraul stands near her oil paintings during last year’s Art and Apples Festival.

Artist Barbara Spraul stands near her oil paintings during last year’s Art and Apples Festival.

Photo provided by Paint Creek Center for the Arts

Art and Apples Festival moves ‘full speed ahead’ for 56th year

By: Mary Beth Almond | Rochester Post | Published August 24, 2022


ROCHESTER — The Art and Apples Festival will return to Rochester next month, signaling to locals that fall is near.

Now in its 56th year, the three-day festival of fine arts will once again bring art enthusiasts of all ages to Rochester Municipal Park, which will transform into one of the nation’s largest juried fine art festivals Sept. 9-11.

“Being in its 56th year now, I think people can expect a lot of what they have come to expect over the years here, with great artists, fantastic entertainment and a lot of wonderful food venders as well,” Paint Creek Center for the Arts Executive Director Shaun Hayes said.

Last year, Hayes said, the festival was scaled back a bit, returning after a pandemic year as venues were gradually reopening.

This year, he said Art and Apples — with Genisys Credit Union as the presenting sponsor — is moving full speed ahead.

A crowd of around 80,000 attendees visits the festival each year over the three-day weekend, and Hayes is counting on that many people visiting the festival this year.

“I think the show is really popular because Rochester is a crowd that really appreciates the art. We get so many people from across the country, and it’s very well organized,” he said.

Over 230 artists from across the nation will display and sell their work in 18 different fine art mediums — including ceramics, digital art, drawing, textiles, glass, printmaking, jewelry, metal, mixed media, painting, photography, sculpture, wood and more.

Whimsical clay sculpture artists Corey and Stacey Bechler, a husband-and-wife team who hail from the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Park region in northern Michigan, participate in a handful of art fairs in the Midwest throughout the summer, and they can attest to the profitability, but also that something extra, that Art and Apples provides.

“We absolutely love driving down to beautiful Rochester to do the Art and Apples Festival; it is one of the premiere art fairs in the state and country,” Corey Bechler said in a press release. “Our sales have always been strong, but it’s the intangibles that I am really impressed with. From an artist standpoint, Paint Creek Center for the Arts really takes care of the artists … and from a personal standpoint, I love and admire how the entire community pitches in to make this show amazing, with marching bands coming through the heart of the show, the local acts onstage and the tastes and smells from the food trucks.”

For an inside look into how fine art is created, guests can stop by the Creation Station for live art-making demonstrations. Past demonstrations have included glass blowing and ceramic wheel throwing from Michigan artists.

Children can have a blast at the popular — and free — Meijer Kids Art Zone, which typically offers face painting, inflatables, make-and-take art projects and more.

Those ready to rest their weary legs can head to the band shell to watch Rochester-area high school bands, local dance companies, and more. All performances will be located on the main stage in Rochester Municipal Park, and all are family-friendly, according to organizers.

“We have a lot of new musicians here that I think people will enjoy,” said Hayes.

Festivalgoers can also pay to sample a variety of offerings from 15 different food vendors throughout the weekend.

The Art and Apples Festival is the PCCA’s signature fundraiser to support the nonprofit’s art classes for kids and adults, free art exhibitions, art market, summer camps, and community outreach through its Art Anywhere program.

A suggested $5 tax-deductible donation per person at each entrance to the festival will provide funding for the PCCA, which Hayes said works year-round to promote the arts and artistic excellence.

“This is hugely important for us. The Art and Apples Festival is Paint Creek Center for the Arts’ largest fundraiser throughout the year. Not a lot of people know that it’s something that we do to support a lot of our other efforts,” Hayes explained.

Other nonprofit organizations that will benefit from a portion of the entrance donations this year include the Music Shapes, Pawsitive Changes Dog Therapy, the Mint Artist Guild, and more.

Art and Apples will be open 2-7:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 9; 9 a.m.-7:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 10; and 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 11, in Rochester Municipal Park.

For more information, visit or call the PCCA at (248) 651-4110.