Art & Craft Festival Kicks off Foliage Season in Manchester, September 28-30

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Famous New Hampshire Artist to Demonstrate at Manchester Fall Crafts Fair

When the cooler days of autumn approach, that’s when the craft festival season heats up. Craftproducers kicks off the Fall season in Vermont with the 30th Annual Manchester Fall Art and Craft Festival. The show will be held September 28 through 30, 2018, at Riley Rink on Route 7A (410 Hunter Park Rd.), a mile and a half north of downtown Manchester, Vermont. It will take place inside the confines of Riley Rink and expands outdoors with array of exhibitors, the food court and. a dining tent, lending a festive mood.

October Art and Craft Festival in Manchester Vermont
The Manchester show features 150 artists and artisans displaying and selling traditional and contemporary crafts and original art as well as a specialty food section. While craft shopping, customers are delighted with great food, music, and Vermont craft beers.

Hours are 10-5 daily, Friday through Sunday. Adult admission is $10, but $7 on Friday. Children are free. Rain or shine-inside building and outdoors. Saturday is Health Awareness Day with MVP and its RV and staff sharing tips for a healthy lifestyle. Free parking. No pets, please.

Organizer Tim Cianciola is an enthusiastic supporter of the handcraft movement in the United States. He says, “Our hope is to educate more people about the importance of American craftsmen and women. Crafts enrich our homes, wardrobes, offices and public spaces. Craft work is original, beautiful and enduring. As one craft artist put it, “this is the creative economy!”

Besides savoring Vermont food and drink, there are many craft demos. Craftproducers is proud to feature Matt Brown, currently residing in Lyme, NH and New Haven, VT, as one of its demonstrating exhibitors. Matt explains, “I have been working the craft of color woodblock printmaking since January 1993. Self-taught in my printmaking, my pursuit in the first few years was mostly in isolation. Spending time with Japanese prints in my home, visiting Japanese prints at the homes of friends and neighbors, at museums, and through books, was largely how I learned in the early formative years.” Brown uses the hangar method – a woodblock printing technique using water as a medium. Festival goers can witness Brown at work in his booth, creating original pieces.

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