“Besides a parade, have an art show in the park!”
This sentiment was first expressed by Bertha Clum (1900-1987), a local artist and lifelong resident of Kensington who donated the Clum-Kennedy Gardens to the Town of Kensington, Maryland.
In the mid-1980s, “Art in the Park” became a reality with local artists, including children, displayed paintings in the gardens. In 1987, the adult component of “Art in the Park” became “Paint the Town.”
Cash prizes, the ambience of Kensington’s Labor Day festivities, and the opportunity to meet fellow artists drew participants from throughout the greater Washington area. Artists painted on-site in Kensington on Labor Day weekend.
In 1995, with the Town’s generous help, the show was expanded to a three-day viewing event (Saturday, Sunday and Monday) held in the Kensington Armory. Additional works of art, along with the plein air paintings of Kensington completed on Saturday, are displayed for sale with the theme of “Paint the Town.”
Through the years, the show has increased in terms of the number of artists, works displayed, and attendees. It is a key event for the Washington metropolitan artistic community and Kensington.