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Arts and Music

Craft And Fine Art Festival At Museum Of Art

Bringing the best in fine art to Long Island

An impressive display of craft and fine art, one featuring the top craft artists in America, is coming to the Nassau County Museum of Art.

On Saturday, Oct. 27 and Sunday, Oct. 28, the annual Craft and Fine Art Festival will be held at the museum, located in Roslyn Harbor.

The event will feature works of 90 master craftsmen and fine artists from around the country. According to organizers, the festival will showcase dramatic steel sculpture, designer apparel in silk, cashmere, organic cotton, alpaca and other natural fibers, diamonds, rubies and sapphires set in gold and platinum, fine paintings on canvas, home furnishings from dinnerware to dinner tables, original fashions in dyed leather, blown and stained glass, plus hand-crafted creations fashioned from exotic, non-endangered woods.

The Oct. 27 event will take place from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., while the Sunday exhibits will be on display from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The exhibits represent the best American artists have to offer in fine crafts. Only the top artists in the country were chosen to exhibit their artwork. For the festival, a jury of professional craft experts selected the 90 craft artists from a pool of 576 applicants. Those 90 artists represent 24 states from all regions of the country.

Organizers estimate that up to 10,000 visitors are expected to attend the festival and view the $18,000,000 of artwork on display. The event is being produced by the American Concern for Art and Craftsmanship and is sponsored by the New York Foundation for the Arts.

Those attending will not only be able to enjoy the exhibits, but also meet the artists behind the work. For instance, Dan Williams, a master fabricator of string instruments from the Blue Ridge Mountains in western North Carolina will be there to showcase the crystal-cello made with a curly ashe top and a body of polished and stained cherry with hand carved elements and a dragonfly inlay.

“This original handcrafted instrument is both beautiful to the eye as well as the ear and available for $295. It combines the unusual with the traditional hand crafted works which will be in abundance at the festival,” festival organizers stated.

Long Island Artists On Display

In all, thousands of original craft and fine artworks will be on display. A number of the most spectacular creations are by Long Island artists. That includes a presentation by Hap Bowditch of Shelter Island. Hap’s artwork, organizers said, is an eight-foot tall steel sculpture inclusive of its laminated frame.  

“This eight-sided creation, with multiple imagery, expressing the elemental relationship we experience with earth, sky, water, heat, shadow, mountains and plains is revealed through the masterful use of iron oxide petinas and evocative forms,” the organizers note.  “From conception to finished piece, this original work took 600 hours over a six month period to complete and will be available for $25,000 from Long Island’s own master sculptor.”

However, most items, while just as fascinating, are not as expensive. Among them is a $50 multicolored enameled ladybug on a lily pin available from Cynthia Chuang of Locust Valley. Meanwhile, Barbara Poole of Charlestown, MA is offering a high fashion ensemble including hat, coat and gloves utilizing wet, dry, seamless and laminate felting techniques in a highly original design, an item that costs $750.

The day will be full of craft demonstrations. Such demonstrations include: Handspinning art yarns on a spinning wheel by Anna Upston, painting by Kerry Donohue, musical instruments by Dan Williams, needle art by Verne ji Dong Yan, painting by Carrie Jacobson, wirewrapping of bracelets by Larry Wayman and leather bags by Randy Herold.

In addition to the artwork on display, a selection of affordable food and desserts including French, Middle Eastern and American delights such as crepes, chicken, salads and smoothies, plus continuous musical entertainment and craft demonstrations will be available to festival-goers. That includes savory and sweet crepes, chicken, fresh fruit shakes, natural lemonade, salads and Mediterranean specialties.

The purpose of the festival is multifaceted. First, according to organizers, it is a vehicle to provide the museum with additional community support and visibility, all as a way to enhance its mission. Secondly, it is to bring to Nassau County the finest crafts event available with the top craft artists from around the country.  

“[The event] was conceived as an opportunity to provide a support mechanism enabling master craft artists to continue their work, providing themselves with a dignified living, while offering the community an unparalleled cultural event as well,” organizers add.

The festival complements the American Crafts Festival and Autumn Crafts Festival, held recently at Lincoln Center in New York City, which was also produced by the American Concern for Art and Craftsmanship. American Concern is a nonprofit arts organization designed to offer educational services to craft artists.

Admission is $7, children under 12 admitted free, $1 discount for seniors on Saturday. The admission fee will benefit the programs and exhibits offered by the museum.

To visit the festival, take the Long Island Expressway to Exit 39. Go approximately 2 miles to Northern Boulevard (Route 25A) and turn left.  At the second light, turn right into entrance into the museum.  Follow directions to parking area. The telephone number for further information is (973) 746-0091 or 484-9337.