Virtual Art in the Arboretum to feature work from 90 artists

Shoppers can browse online instead of visiting the gardens this year

Virtual Art in the Arboretum begins Nov. 7

WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - Art in the Arboretum will not be at the New Hanover County Arboretum this year; instead, like so many events this year, organizers decided an online version would be a safer bet.

Instead of just three days, the sale will happen virtually from Nov. 7 to Dec. 17.

Larry Sackett, who manages the sales technology for Art in the Arboretum, said organizers considered canceling the event but decided to try a new format to support the artists.

“We have some loyal artists,” he said. “Some of them have showed up for most of the 25 years and we just thought we needed to do something for them to show that we support them.”

“Almost all art shows have been cancelled in the past six months,” noted Harriet Forbis, co-chair of Art in the Arboretum. “The virtual Art in the Arboretum gives our artists an opportunity to show their works and generate some income. Buyers have an opportunity to purchase high-quality art online at very reasonable prices."

Around 400 pieces of art from 90 artists will be featured in the online store on the popular web shopping platform, Shopify.

The sale will be held online at

One feature that will help buyers is a “virtual wall” that enables shoppers to view a piece of art as it would look in a home or office.

John Ranalli, chairperson of this year’s Art in the Arboretum, said the virtual show could even become a part of future in-person art sales at the Arboretum.

Art in the Arboretum is sponsored by the Wilmington Art Association and the Friends of the Arboretum.

“The gardens have always been a stunning backdrop for the art pieces, whether 2-D or 3-D,” said Carolyn Thomas, president of the Friends of the Arboretum. “While there will be no art pieces for sale on the grounds this year, we still encourage you to visit the Arboretum and enjoy the gardens in their fall glory.”

A portion of the proceeds go to the Arboretum to support its programs and facilities.

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