The Nassau County Museum of Art in Roslyn Harbor recently played host to the 17th annual Craft and Fine Arts Festival, one featuring vendors from all over the country and as far away as Canada.
Paul Weingarten, the director of the program explained what the program is all about.
“This is a venue where we bring together not only some of the finest craft people from all over the Unites States, but some of the finest crafts people who do the premier crafts events at Lincoln Center of the Performing Arts,” he said. “This show is a fundraiser for museum but it is also a showcase to show what some of the finest crafts people in the United States can do. We have 90 exhibitors and the attendance has been wonderful. This has been supported by the community and we are pleased to do it at this beautiful location.”
For more photos from the 17th annual Craft and Fine Arts Festival, click here.
Given the spectacular weather of the weekend the attendance was excellent bringing in close to 7,000 people over the two days. Among those in attendance was Stacey Rothschild of Roslyn, who has come to this crafts show many years.
“I always come back because I think the quality is tremendous and you see things that you don’t see anywhere else,” she said. “I like the broad price range and I appreciate jewelry. I just bought a beautiful pair of earrings from Sherry Lane Jewelry.”
The booths had many vendors from out of state as well as some locals. One of them was Wendy Lin from Great Neck who displayed her unusual jewelry and explained why she came to this event.
“This is the only show I do in Nassau County, otherwise I am in Massachusetts, New Jersey and Connecticut so it’s nice to have a home grown show like this,” she said.
Lin has been making jewelry for the past nine years, prior to that she was a newspaper reporter at Newsday.
“I made one bracelet and gave it to a friend of mine,” she recalled. “She gave it to her editor at In Style Magazine and they featured it. She called me one day and said, ‘I have very good news, it is going to be in the November issue and the bad news is you have to make 400 of them and get a tax ID number.’ I have been in business ever since.”
Jin Zhang from Levittown had not only an interesting booth but an interesting story to tell.
“Every year we travel to Tibet and photograph the local people,” she said. “We find them very friendly and interesting. Then my husband and I take the pictures and paint them as oil portraits.”
Daniel Lai, from Tennessee, found and interesting use for books.
“I use books that people have thrown away and transform them into art and I incorporate the use of the little figures to tell a story of my experiences in reading, learning, and knowledge,” he added.
One of the art pieces had a penny suspended on a string and he explained, “This piece reflects the thinking and wondering of people and that is why it is called a penny for your thoughts.”
Judy Bradford came up from Key West, Fla. with her hats, fascinators in all different styles.
“I am an artist from Key West and last year went to England and studied with three prominent British milliners and learned all sorts of techniques. I build my hats like individual sculptures,” she said. “This has been my first time here and the people are all very nice and this location is beautiful.” Attached to her charming hats is a warning label, which reads, “May lead to irrational behavior and indecent proposals. Be prepared for life changing experiences.”
While the vendors were having a great time visiting long island, many for the first time the shoppers were also enjoying viewing the wares and buying items.
One of them was Pat Rappaport from Port Washington.
“I just bought beautiful place mats which are hand done and very cleverly created from Carol Shiber Designs,” she said. “I come every year and every year there are new and different things to see. That is what I like about it. I was an art teacher for 30 years at Syosset High School and now I am a docent at this museum. I have been a docent for five years and you really have to study and work hard. You have to learn and it keeps you brain active and then when you do a tour, people are usually wonderful and responsive.”
Vendor Shiber who gave Pat a kiss talked about the show. “I love coming to this show because the people of this area appreciate fine art and functional pieces that work on their table. This is our fourth time, and we are so glad to be back.”
Exhibiting for the first time was Great Neck resident Gary Blake.
“I have been painting for a number of years and people really like my oils,” Blake said. “I have been painting for thirty years. When I am not painting I have my business called The Communication Workshop and we teach writing skills to people all over the company. We are located in Great Neck but I travel all over the country to teach people business and technical writing.”
Traveling from Canada, was Jonathan Leon from Lolipop Glass.
“This is my first American craft show and I wanted to see if the wow factor that I get in Canada, if I would get it from the toughest clientele in the world which is New Yorkers,” said Leon. “So far I have had the big wow factor from you guys and I am overwhelmed with the comments from the uniqueness and appreciation of my products. Sales here have been fantastic. This is the start of a very long love story between me and New York.”
Trying on a winter cap was Stephen Hirsch from Old Westbury who has been to this festival many times.
“It’s a lot of fun. I come back every year because my wife keeps dragging me here,” he laughed. “There are some very interesting and nice things. We have made quite a few purchases already and I am now contemplating buying a hat.”
On the other hand, Louise Wolkis from Westbury visited the show for the first time.
“This show is very diversified, there is jewelry clothing, crafts, and very creative people here,” she remarked. “You can get from a modest price to high end and things are very original. As you walk from one table to the next it is really a surprise because everything is so unique. It’s a fun event and I would definitely come back next year.”