Columbus ArtFest, after struggling through its weakest attendance in a seven-year history, has ended.

Founder, photographer and printmaker Bob Anderson made the announcement after meeting with his board of directors. The free event attracted 1,000 to 1,500 people June 25-26 at Mill Race Park, held on the same weekend as the downtown BBQ Blues and Brew festival.

Previously, it had been held at Fourth and Washington streets, where organizers said it drew 2,000 to 2,500 people most years to see 75 to nearly 100 exhibitors of paintings, sculpture, textiles, jewelry and other art. Anderson said exhibitors liked the idea of a park setting on grass rather than the blacktop setup.

In 2015, it was held during mid-September over a weekend when it competed for vendors and visitors with the more established Penrod Arts Fair in Indianapolis.

The change this summer didn’t help crowds or boost buying, however, a key to get artists to return in subsequent years, Anderson said.

“We never really could get the community to support it the way we really wanted to,” Anderson said.

For more on this story, see Wednesday’s Republic.

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Brian Blair is a reporter for The Republic. He can be reached at or 812-379-5672.