Tracy Levesque Returns to the Stowe Foliage Arts Festival in 2017

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Paintings by Tracy Levesque at the Stowe Foliage Arts Festival

Painter Tracy Lévesque was born in the Berkshire Hills of Western Massachusetts and credits her rural childhood for her abiding love of nature and its prominence in her artwork. Lévesque studied Graphic Design at Massachusetts College of Art in Boston, MA and received a double BA in Theater Arts and English and American Literature from Brandeis University in Waltham, MA. While her early work depicted realistic scenes, she “quickly abandoned realism,” she writes, “for a more impressionistic,  symbolic style that spoke more to the psychological realities of human existence rather than the more conventional interpretations of them.”

Massachusetts painter Tracy Levesque

Tracy Levesque in her booth at one of Craftproducers 2016 Festivals.

Lévesque will return to Craftproducers Stowe Foliage Arts Festival in October, 2017. Come to the Festival at Topnotch Field on Mountain Road in Stowe to meet this incredible Artist and see her paintings in person. Besides original paintings, she will also have prints and gifts featuring her work available for sale.

The MooseMan, Rick Libbey

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As a child growing up on his father’s 165-acre dairy farm in Whitinsville, MA, Rick Libbey learned to appreciate nature and all living things. In 1981, after moving to New Hampshire, he had his first encounter with moose – ironically in the wilderness of Maine, where he had been invited to a friend’s remote cabin. The encounter would prove to be life-changing. For thirty-five years, Rick has returned twice yearly to that remote lake in Maine, dropped by float plane, to photograph moose from a kayak. Due to the frequency of his visits, he has come to know some of the bulls and a cow moose and their calves, watching them grow to adulthood. Every encounter is documented with a photograph as well as notes Rick takes in his log book.

Rick started his business, MooseMan Nature Photography in 2003. His love of wildlife and photography has expanded to include eagles, loons, fox, bears, and all animals of the woods and waters. It is with a great deal of respect that he approaches any of his subjects, studying them from a distance and slowly working his way closer, studying their behavior and earning their trust. By reading the animal’s body language, Rick knows when to not approach or back away if necessary. This is key for capturing some of these remarkable images. In these photographs, one can feel and appreciate the sense of calm and trust in the subjects.

Rick will only be Exhibiting at Craftproducers summer show – the Southern Vermont Art and Craft Festival in Bennington – this year, as the Autumn will find him back in Alaska searching out more incredible scenes of the wild.

One of the most important messages Rick wishes to share is that of gratitude. To be out in the quietness of early morning watching as the sun rises, or later, as it sets, is at the same time grounding and uplifting. Humbling, and awe-inspiring. He considers himself a very lucky man to be among nature doing what he does. He hopes you enjoy his labor of love.

Jeffrey Gale – traditional wood-splint basket maker

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“I like sharing with people,” says Jeffrey Gale, “its why I’m a basket maker – to keep the old craft alive to people so they know how it was done. Because I think it matters that a human being knows how to go in the woods, without any machinery taking the wood, and knowing how to work it to make […] something purely out of wood that is completely functional and beautiful at the same time.”

Jeffrey Gale, from Strafford, Vermont, demonstrated his traditional wood splint basket making techniques at our 2016 Manchester Fall Art and Craft Festival. His dedication to the craft has earned his work a place in the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s permanent collection.

Edwards Smith Fine Woodworking

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Quality wood bowls make wonderful gifts and great additions to any kitchen.

Edward Smith woodworking

Edwards Smith Fine Woodworking creates beautiful wood bowls, utensils, furniture pieces, jewelry boxes and more. Smith began working with wood at a young age and over time working with wood called him more and more. Crafting artisan wood bowls is Smith’s specialty, he produces each item with American hardwood usually gathered from felled trees locally.

Edward Smith woodworking at the Manchester Fall Art and Craft Festival

Come to the 28th Annual Manchester Fall Art and Craft Festival and stop by Edwards Smith Fine Woodworking’s booth to see the incredible way he is able to manipulate native hardwoods into beautiful, quality items. You can also preview his work at www.edwardssmithfinewoodworking.com

Log Cabin Leather by Jan

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Handcrafted to display the natural beauty of North America, the Arctic, and the Rainforest, every single piece created at Log Cabin Leather by Jan is unique. From books to belts to bags, each piece is designed and crafted by the artist, including the intricate stamped designs and carved pictures. Jan says her accessories are “designed to inspire” and are “created with purpose built to endure life’s greatest adventures.”

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A self-taught leather artist since 1977, Jan Stewart-Hibbard hand tools a wide range of leather accessories. Included in Jan’s collections are photo albums, journals, notepads, book covers, wallets, belts and guitar straps. Each item is individually crafted making no two just the same.

Preview the collections from Log Cabin Leather by Jan on her website and remember to visit Jan’s booth at the 28th Annual Manchester Fall Art and Craft Festival.

Vermont Signature Sauces

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Vermont Signature Sauces is home to the delicious LeMaison Gourmet Sauce brand. These gourmet finishing sauces are available in flavors including Marsala with Wild Mushrooms, Coconut Curry, and Pesto Cream.

Vermont Signature Sauces at the Manchester Fall Art and Craft Festival

Vermont Signature Sauces is a woman-owned business that produced its first sauce in 2011 at their Saxton River, VT location. President and Co-Founder, Karen Whitman and her business partner, Vice-President, Nancy Bazin, pride themselves on producing quality, flavorful sauces and even provide recipes on their website!

Visit Vermont Signature Sauces at the the 28th Annual Manchester Fall Art and Craft Festival and let your pallet decide which one to bring home!

Watermelon Salad from Seven Barrels

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Summer in the North Country is a marvelous thing, but even here it does get hot. And there’s truly no better food on a summer afternoon than watermelon… unless it is watermelon and cucumber, with some ripe tomatoes warm from the garden, a crumble of goat cheese, a few sprigs of fresh basil…
This delightful salad recipe is brought to you from the good folks at Seven Barrels, purveyors of olive oils and aged Italian balsamics and one of the fabulous Specialty Foods Exhibitors at the Southern Vermont Art and Craft Festival, starting this Friday (July 31) and happening all weekend at Camelot Village in beautiful Bennington, VT!
 
WATERMELON SALAD
1/2 seedless watermelon, cubed
2 ripe red tomatoes, cubed
1 English cucumber, cubed
4 oz goat cheese, crumbled
2 Tbsp basil, chopped
1/2 c arugula, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
For dressing
1/4 c Prickly Pear Balsamic Vinegar
1 Tbsp Lime Olive Oil
1 Tbsp Basil Olive Oil
In a small bowl, jar, or container, mix the vinegar and oils for the dressing – whisk (or shake, if using a lidded jar or container) well and set aside.
Cube, crumble, and chop salad ingredients and add to a large serving bowl. Lightly toss to mix. Drizzle dressing over the top and gently toss again to coat. Serve immediately and enjoy!

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Design Your Own Silk Scarf!

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Paint on water and create your own gorgeous silk scarf with Shibumi Silks at the Southern Vermont Art and Craft Festival.

 

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Richard Borden and Patricia DeSantis are the dynamic duo behind Shibumi Silks – creating custom designed water marbled silk scarves and drawing crowds with their demonstrations and interactive booth display.

Visit Shibumi Silks at the Southern Vermont Art and Craft Festival to try your hand at painting with ink on water, marbling, and ultimately creating your own one-of-a-kind marbled silk scarf: a masterpiece of color and texture! Shibumi Silks will have their entire set-up waiting for you to choose your ink colors and scarf style and they will guide you in every step of this fascinating creative process! Look for their booth in the outdoor courtyard.

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photo credit: Shibumi Silks

Spirited Away

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First it was cheese. Then craft beer. Now it’s distilled spirits. And like Vermont Cheese and Vermont Craft Beers, Vermont Spirits are winning awards and raising the bar (no pun intended) for whiskey, rum, rye, vodka, and gin.

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At the Southern Vermont Art and Craft Festival, we are very pleased to welcome five fabulous distilled spirits Exhibitors:

Whistle Pig 100% Rye Whiskey – Award winning and one of the best whiskeys in the world.

Dunc’s Mill – the longest running distillery in Vermont, distilling small batches of rum made from scratch.

Saxton’s River Distillery – featuring Maple Liqueur, Maple Bourbon, and Maple Rye.

Caledonia Spirits – award winning gin and vodka made with honey.

Appalachian Gap – making a variety of spirits from their solar powered distillery.

Appalachian Gap Distillery

Samples will be available at the Festival, and you can purchase your favorites right on the spot and take the bottles home to enjoy later with friends and family. Gift shopping? look no further! These wonderfully crafted spirits will please even the most discerning palette.

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First and last photo via Whistle Pig Whiskey, Middle photo via Appalachian Gap Distillery

Sculptor Dennis Sparling

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This year Craftproducers is fortunate to host Dennis Sparling, one of Vermont’s best known sculptors, at both the Manchester Fall Art and Craft Festival and the Stowe Foliage Arts Festival. His work will be on display and for sale. Sparling’s latest creation, Leonardo Da Vinci, comes in an 18 foot long trailer and is lighted for nighttime viewing. Modestly and humorously Sparling says of his return to Vermont:

I arrived in Vermont in 1970, borrowed $60 from the new Vermont Craft Council run by Dyanne Fago—went dump diving for metals and arrived at the First Bennington Craft Show to sell nothing until two people came looking for me and helped me stay and get through the next 10 years in Vermont.  Since then I have mainly sold my work out of state; until 2008 when my clientele disappeared.

Before Vermont I studied Architecture at Arizona State and U. of Washington — Built a Gallery in Pioneer Square, Seattle and collaborated with Tom Robins on “The Vincent Van Gough Donut Festival — then fled to Vermont looking for what Life was all about.  Now I know a little more of what life is about, and it is time to pack up the wagon with some above average Stories and sell my pots and pans to Act III of the American Dream.

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