Release Courtesy of Burlington County:
Art enthusiasts are invited to enjoy an evening of fine art, music and theater this weekend during Burlington County’s first-ever Arts After Dark event at Historic Smithville Park in Eastampton.
For the first time, visitors to the park will be able to enjoy the work of artists from across the county and region on display in the park galleries and outdoors in a special event tent in the Smithville Mansion Courtyard.
On display in the Mansion Annex Gallery is the County’s 45th Annual Juried Art Exhibit featuring the creations of artists from across the region. In the Workers House Gallery is an exhibit of stained-glass masterpieces. And the special event tent will showcase a large selection of artwork previously exhibited in both galleries.
There will also be artisan vendors displaying their crafts and musicians performing in the Mansion Rose Garden, the Mansion Annex and Worker’s House. Guests can enjoy live theatrical performances by the Bridge Players Theater Group.
A food truck from The Madison will be on site selling refreshments to benefit the Friends of Smithville Mansion, but visitors will be treated to an assortment of cheese boxes.
The event will be held from 4:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. this Saturday, Sept. 18.
“Burlington County is known for its natural scenery and history, but we’re also home to a vibrant and diverse arts scene, and this event will be an incredible showcase of all three,” said Burlington County Commissioner Linda Hynes, board liaison to the Parks Department. “It’s the perfect night out for couples or families to take in all the beauty and history of Smithville under the stars, while also enjoying some of the fine arts creations, music and entertainment from some of our county’s most outstanding artisans.”
For those who can’t make it out Saturday night, both art galleries at Smithville Park are open Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sundays from noon to 4 p.m.
Beginning Sept. 22, there will be acoustic musical performances at the park Visitor Center each weekday beginning at 3 p.m. and Saturdays from 12:30 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Smithville Park is located at 803 Smithville Road in Eastampton and features the restored village of Smithville and the Smithville Mansion, an 1840 Greek Revival Mansion that was once home to inventor and entrepreneur Hezekiah B. Smith. Smith purchased the village in 1865 and transformed it into a progressive industrial center that manufactured woodworking machinery and high-wheel bicycles.
Burlington County acquired the 321-acre property in 1975 and restored several of its homes and structures and streetscape to how it appeared during its heyday in the Victorian era.
In addition to the village and mansion, the park features Smith’s Woods, a picturesque area of forests, meadows, and hiking trails, as well as a floating bridge across Smithville Lake, picnic pavilions and butterfly gardens for visitors to enjoy.
“Smithville is the crown jewel of what is easily one of the best county parks systems anywhere,” Hynes said. “Those who visit always marvel at the natural beauty and history here, and this event is another way we can introduce people to the park and also support the arts in our county.”