The First Annual Essex County Arts and Crafts Festival will be held Wednesday and Thursday, August 30-31, at the Essex County Fairgrounds in Westport. The Festival will present the work of artists and crafters currently working in the county and neighboring region. It is a celebration of the reality that every town and hamlet throughout the county is home to numerous creative people who enrich their communities by their hand-made creations. We are proud to be able to display how strong is the creative talent in the county, while at the same time providing the hard-working artists among us an opportunity to exhibit and sell their work.
Although this is the first year of what we intend to be an annual event, artists and crafts people from across the county and neighboring region have signed on to present their work. So far we have registered creative people from: Lake Placid; Ticonderoga; Wilmington; Elizabethtown; Keesville; Saranac Lake; Port Henry; Westport; Schroon Lake; and Lewis. And nearly every day, more people are joining us.
At the Essex County Arts and Crafts Festival, attendees to this free event will meet individuals who create objects of beauty and use, who have achieved mastery of their materials and vision, and who work on a scale that allows intensity of vision and intimacy of placement.
- fine art painters, all who have local reputations and some that exhibit nationally: painters in oil, acrylics, water colors, creators of abstractions and portraits, local scenes, surrealist figures and suggested narratives;
- photographers of the natural world and landscape;
- a maker of hand-made primitive hooked rugs;
- weavers, knitters, and sewers of blankets, quilts, shawls, and clothing;
- an established potter whose domestic productions draw their decorative imagery from the natural world;
- a rustic furniture maker;
- a master builder of exquisite guitars;
- highly accomplished jewelers;
- basket makers;
- a candlemaker and a creator of soaps and lotions;
- creators of note cards bearing personally-worked painted, printed, or photographed images.
Images of representative work by the participating artists and craft people can be accessed on the Festivals website: www.essexartsandcrafts.org.
The Arts and Crafts Festival extends on-going regional efforts to significantly increase the use of the County Fairgrounds in Westport for the benefit of the people of the county and for visitors to the region. Just as the annual Harvest Festival, which was begun last year, supports an important economic sectoragriculturethat involves people across the entire county, the Essex County Arts and Crafts Festival affirms that the arts are a vital sector of our communities and their economy.
The Festival receives professional assistance and guidance from the Westport Chamber of Commerce and sponsorship from the Westport Heritage House. Most importantly, it is sponsored by the Essex Arts Council and has benefitted from an Arts Council CAP Grant this year providing partial start-up funding.