Justice Martin of York City helps with a community painting project sponsored by The Parliament during the 2013 Yorkfest Arts Festival. This year’s
Justice Martin of York City helps with a community painting project sponsored by The Parliament during the 2013 Yorkfest Arts Festival. This year's festival, set for Saturday and Sunday, has plenty of kid-friendly activities. (York Dispatch file photo)

Spring Grove artist Stephen March has been painting since the '60s, but he's not slowing down.

In June, he won first place for painting in the State Museum of Pennsylvania's 2014 Art of the State exhibition, an annual juried exhibition of art across the state.

March, 70, has also participated in the Yorkfest Fine Arts Festival — which was previously called the Riverwalk Arts Festival — almost every year since 1988 and earned Best in Show two or three times, he said.

Now, March is one of 20 artists selected to be in Yorkfest's juried art exhibition, which is open to the public and set for 6 to 8 p.m. Friday at YorkArts Gallery, 10 N. Beaver St. in York City.

Diverse art: March earned the state award for "Surveillance," an acrylic painting that resembles a TV screen showing surveillance footage. It uses pointillism, since TVs are made up of little pixels, he said.

March said he doesn't try to "paint something pleasing all the time," and "Surveillance" challenges viewers to examine how their behaviors are monitored.

His work has imitated reality — from the Vietnam War to Sept. 11 — in a way that challenges viewers to look at the dark side of society, he said.

March's Yorkfest entry, however, is a little less political: He uses charcoal and pastel on paper to portray a stream that runs through his small farm.


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"That's part of my artistic variety, you might say," said March, who teaches art at York Country Day School.

The exhibition will hang in the YorkArts Gallery during the festival and throughout the month of September.

Live music: Yorkfest will also bring several free activities and programs to downtown York from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. It will be held rain or shine along the Heritage Rail Trail, from Lafayette Plaza to West Princess Street.

Nearly 100 invited artists from across the country will display and sell their work on both days, said event coordinator Mary Yeaple.

There will also be live music all weekend: Kayla Kroh, Indian Summer Jars, Don Carn and Mark Huber, Julie Swope and Sweet Life will perform Saturday, she said. Sunday's performers are Jefrey Woodall, Elijah Cross, Jamie O'Brien and Janet Spahr.

And a free jazz concert, featuring the Chuck Long Quartet and Eric Marner and Brave New World, will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. Saturday at the Strand-Capitol Performing Arts Center.

"It's a great way to utilize a beautiful venue in downtown York and have people explore some great music," Yeaple said of the concert.

Activities: At the event, 12 food vendors — eight of them new to Yorkfest — will sell exotic burritos, burgers, fries, tacos, Greek food and more, she said.

New Freedom Art will also bring its "Meet the Masters" program back for a second year. The program allows students to create art projects in the styles of select artists throughout history.

Attendees can also experience poetry performances, sidewalk art, walking tours and a caricature artist.

"There's something for everybody," Yeaple said.

Last year's attendance was around 15,000 for the weekend, and organizers expect about the same amount this year, she said.

To learn more about the festival and its artists, visit www.facebook.com/yorkcityspecialevents.

— Reach Mollie Durkin at mdurkin@yorkdispatch.com.