Thursday, October 2, 2014

American Craft Week celebrated in Philadelphia and all over country

CHARLOTTE, NC—It began as a small, grassroots effort to enhance the knowledge and appreciation of handmade craft. Now celebrating its fifth anniversary, American Craft Week is a well-established, national event celebrating the tradition of American craft in artists’ studios, galleries museums, schools, and festivals.

This year’s official celebration will be held Oct. 3 - 12, and for the first time all 50 states are participating, including the District of Columbia, and three foreign countries (US Army bases in Germany, Japan and South Korea). A highlight among the thousands of events taking place all over the country is a national event, Spinzilla. This has been described as a “monster of a spinning event” that has been designed to raise awareness about the value of handmade craft while raising money for the NeedleArts Mentoring program created by the National NeedleArts Association.

A few of the local events featured are: Vermont celebrates American Craft Week with over 300 events all over the state including the Vermont Statewide Open Studio Tour. Maine is featuring to promote Maine Craft Weekend. Mendoco Californa combines Wine and Craft. Googleworks celebrates American Craft in Reading PA. Asheville, North Carolina celebrates with Open Studios and Food in the River Arts District. Virginia participates with its annual art show at The Mill in Edinburg that will include Open Studios, a Pop-up Art Market, and the outdoor showing of the new PBS show, Craft in America: Service.  The community is also invited to join in making a collaborative piece of art. Fargo North Dakota features flower making at the Fargo Library.  See also list of events in major markets at

“American Craft Week has caught the imagination of so many supporters,” said Diane Sulg, founder and co-chair of the event. “With the growing appreciation of both artisan products and American-made goods, craft is highly regarded for its strong design, quality materials, expert workmanship and enduring value.” Since its inception in 2010, American Craft Week has grown from 240 to more than 1000 participating events, all inviting the general public to enjoy a wide variety of educational, commercial, charitable and festive ways to celebrate craft.

Co- chair, Sherry Masters points out that American Craft Week is having considerable growth in the cultural tourism arena.  “Many regions have found American Craft Week an excellent way to attract visitors. Organizers wrap a large number of craft-related events, artist studios, and galleries into a large celebration, and market it to both locals and tourists.” In the coming year, American Craft Week officials hope to attract more arts councils, arts districts, and tourism organizers to use the marketing power of American Craft Week to create distinctive, interesting events.

American Craft Week invites participation from every corner of the American craft community.  “The very essence of our event is to bring together everyone who is involved in craft, whether they make, sell, exhibit, celebrate, collect, or just plain love craft, to help put it in the national spotlight,” says Diane Sulg.  “You can design your own craft-centered event and become part of this national movement.” For more information, go to

The fifth annual American Craft Week will be held Oct. 3-12 in cities and towns across the nation. With hundreds of diverse events at galleries, artist studios, museums, schools, as well as fairs and festivals, it is the premier public celebration of handmade craft in America. American Craft Week is a program of Craft Retailers and Artists for Tomorrow (CRAFT), a trade association dedicated to the growth and vitality of American craft. For more information, visit

Major Market Events

 Washington, DC
Appalachian Spring, the gallery that has brought beautiful handmade objects to the nation’s capitol for many years, is celebrating their 45th Anniversary during American Craft Week. Their celebration includes artist demonstrations, sweet treats, and “Trade Up for Handmade.” Just bring a generic coffee mug to the store and get 20% off on a new handmade mug. Appalachian Spring has two DC locations, in Georgetown and in Union Station.

The Indian Craft Shop is maintained by the US Department of the Interior at 1849 C St. NW.  The shop represents American Indian arts and crafts from across the US, including jewelry, pottery, fetish carvings, beadwork, weavings, basketry, sand-paintings and sculpture. The knowledgeable staff can tell you about the native traditions behind each piece and show you work representing all levels of craftsmanship from emerging artists to the very well-known.


Pennsylvania Guild of Craftsmen Fine Craft Fair, Rittenhouse Square, Oct. 10, 11 & 12
The Pennsylvania Guild of Craftsmen brings American-made fine craft to the autumn environs of Rittenhouse Square for a second year.  During the 3-day event, patrons can peruse and buy original, hand-crafted works of contemporary furniture, functional and decorative pottery, designer clothing, fine jewelry, blown glass, and more. The Guild’s juried show brings craft lovers and collectors products of excellent workmanship, creative vision, and unique style.

Heart of the Home Gallery, 28 S. Main St., New Hope, PA
If you want to enjoy a fall drive from Philadelphia, consider the picturesque borough of New Hope which lies on the west bank of the Delaware River.  Here you’ll find Heart of the Home Gallery.  For American Craft Week they are presenting a trunk show with Connie McIndoe of Hopewell Pottery.  Her nature inspired work will be on display October 4, 5 & 6.


Eliot School, 24 Eliot St., Jamaica Plain, October 5, 6 pm
Bust out your knitting needles and unravel an experience unlike any other! In conjunction with American Craft Week, the Eliot School of Fine & Applied Arts presents Yarn Bombing, a fun and unique way to express creativity by embracing the urban environment. Participants will attend a talk and demo with JP Yarn Bombers, and learn about the process of executing stealth art in public places. Come and hear about their artistic adventures, see examples of their work, and partake in a little creative mischief yourself. All are welcome!

Western Avenue Studios, 122 Western Ave, Lowell
Wearable Art Extravaganza at Western Avenue Artist Studios: from the mild to the wild. Artists from all media will be creating and showcasing wearable art. Attendees will see everything from traditional clothing and earrings, to drag queens, all in “wearable” art. This event will raise money, through your generous donations, for children impacted by HIV/Aids. The event will begin at 6:30 pm following open studios and the artist reception in the Loading Dock Gallery. Cash bar and refreshments will be available. Suggested donation is $10 per person, $15 per couple.

Paradise City Arts Festival,  30 Industrial Drive, Northampton
Paradise City Arts Festival celebrates 20 years of remarkable art, stylish crafts, great food and cool jazz on Columbus Day Weekend, October 11-13. This is one of the country’s premier arts and craft festivals with 275 painters, sculptors and fine craft makers from every corner of America.  They fill four buildings and a giant tent at the County Fairgrounds in Northampton. Paradise City Arts Festival has been a sponsor and supporter of American Craft Week since its inception.

Valerie’s Gallery, 26 State Street, Newburyport
Visit this historic seaport town north of Boston and make sure you stop in at Valerie’s Gallery, one of the area’s fine galleries of handmade American craft.  During American Craft Week, October 3-12, they want to improve your beverage service.  Just bring an old, mass-produced mug into the gallery, and they will exchange it for 20% of a new American hand-crafted beauty.

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