In 1961, the Friends of the North Castle Public Library, including Charles Elson, Lucille Bruno and Jean West, decided to try an outdoor art exhibition as a way to raise funds for the library. With only a handful of artists showing their work on the lawn of the Armonk Methodist Church bordering Main Street, the Armonk Outdoor Art Show was born. The show soon outgrew the churchyard and was relocated to the parking lot in front of the library.

Mr. Charles Elson, a distinguished international stage and lighting designer, educator and civic leader.

Accompanying the small yet fine display of art in the early days were memorable cakes, pies and much-loved art show brownies, baked by volunteers in the church kitchen. Schultz's famous cider was always there to wash it all down.

Charles Elson choosing winners of the Armonk Outdoor Art Show - October, 1989.

As the show and its crowds grew, the venue again changed, first to the Legion Field in front of Town Hall and finally to its current home at Community Field in 1997. Now, half a century later, 185 exhibitors are chosen from hundreds of juried applicants from across the country and around the world. This celebration of fine art and fine crafts, displayed in our bucolic tree-lined park, has grown to become one of the nation's most highly rated art shows. Each year, thousands of art lovers come from near and far to see an ever-changing display of paintings, photography, sculpture, jewelry and more.

Armonk Outdoor Art Show - October 5, 1974.

As the show has grown, so too has its group of volunteers, now numbering 300. Every year, as one show winds down the next is already in the works. Behind all the brainstorming and community outreach is a hard-working and fun-loving group of people who strive to make the art show the best it can be. You, too, can be a part of the art show history. New volunteers and new ideas are always welcome!

Debbie Stern Heidecorn delivering the ballons.*
Sylvia Rogers and volunteers serving breakfast for our artists.*
Charles Elson
From left to right: Debbie Stern Heidecorn, Judy Moniz, Todd Goddard, Susan Geffen, Marian Hamilton and Sylvia Rogers.*

*Color photography courtesy of Ilene Africk.