Washington Square’s Free Outdoor Art Exhibit
is Back for 90th Year Beginning Labor Day Weekend
By: Ellis Nassour
August 31, 2021: Art’s back everywhere around Washington Square beginning this weekend — Saturday, Sunday, and Monday, Labor Day weekend, with the return, after a forced lapse of two years, of the Washington Square Outdoor Art Exhibit (WSOAE) Fall show. Long one of New York City’s biggest, most vibrant, and colorful free events, it will once again unroll its canvases to art lovers this Labor Day weekend and September 11 and 12. WSOAE is celebrating its 90th Anniversary with more than 50 artists showcasing original works of all sizes and all prices. There’ll also be photography, ceramics, woodworking, glass works, and jewelry from a multitude of artisans.
It all takes place near historic Washington Square Park and the storied marble beacon, the Washington Arch on University Place, between Waverly Place and East 11th Street from noon to 6 P.M. each day.
The show is also a competition. To ensure the quality of works presented, it’s presided over by a jury of well-known peers. All registered artists are eligible and there a several award categories. But the most coveted prize is the Best in Show award.
The origins of the Art Show date to 1931 when artists and friends Jackson Pollock and Willem De Kooning, in need of cash, displayed their canvases on the sidewalks near Washington Square Park.