Famous​ ​Chinese​ ​Artist​ ​to​ Demonstrate​ ​at​ ​Manchester​ Fall​ ​Art and Craft​ ​Festival – Now Indoors at Riley Rink

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As autumn​ ​approaches,​ the​ ​craft​ ​festival​ ​season​ ​begins​ ​in​ ​earnest.​ ​Craftproducers​ ​kicks off​ ​American​ ​Craft​ ​Week​ ​in​ ​Vermont​ ​with​ ​the​ ​29th​ Annual​ ​Manchester​ ​Fall​ ​Art​ ​and​ ​Craft​ ​Festival​. ​The show ​will​ ​be​ ​held​ ​September​ ​29​ ​through​ ​October​ 1 ​at​ ​Riley​ ​Rink​ ​on​ ​Route​ ​7A,​ ​a​ ​mile​ ​and​ ​a​ ​half​ ​north of​ ​downtown​ ​Manchester,​ ​Vermont.​ ​This year the​ ​show​ ​will​ ​take​ ​place​ ​inside​ ​the​ ​cozy​ ​confines​ ​of​ ​Riley​ ​Rink itself.

According​ ​to​ ​organizers​ ​of​ ​American​ ​Craft​ ​Week: ​“Crafts​ ​enrich​ ​our​ ​homes,​ ​wardrobes,​ ​offices​ ​and​ ​public​ ​spaces. The crafts​ ​industry​ ​contributes​ ​to​ ​our​ ​nation’s​ ​economy​ ​and​ ​the​ ​fabric​ ​of​ ​our​ ​national​ ​history.​ ​Craftwork​ ​is original,​ ​beautiful​ ​and​ ​enduring.”​ As​ ​one​ ​craft​ ​artist​ ​put​ ​it,​ ​”this​ ​is​ ​the​ ​creative​ economy!”

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,​ ​you will be delighted with great food, live music, and Vermont craft beers.
Besides​ ​savoring​ ​Vermont​ ​food​ ​and​ ​drink,​ ​there​ ​are​ ​many​ ​craft​ ​demonstrations.​ ​​Craftproducers​ ​​is​ ​proud​ ​to feature Zhong-hua​ ​Lu​ ​as​ ​one​ ​of​ ​the ​demonstrating​ ​exhibitors​ ​at​ ​this​ ​year’s​ ​show.​ ​Zhong-hua​ ​Lu​’s ​life​ ​story,​ ​artistic work, and​ ​teaching​ ​career​ ​are​ ​all​ ​remarkable​ ​and​ ​well​ ​documented​ ​in​ ​a​ ​detailed​ ​memoir​ ​written​ ​by​ ​his wife, Ellen​ ​Graf.​  Mary Ann Filkins, a master Basket Maker, will demonstrate basket weaving.
September​ ​29​ ​through​ ​October​ ​1​
Riley Rink at Hunter Park – Manchester, Vermont
Hours​ ​are​ ​10-5​ ​daily,​ ​Friday​ ​through​ ​Sunday
Adult​ ​admission​ ​is​ ​$10,​ ​children​ ​are​ ​free
Rain or​ ​shine-inside​ ​building and outdoors under tents
Free​ ​parking •​ No​ ​pets,​ ​please

Please come on out and meet the artists and hear their stories. Buy their work! Support handcrafted products! Without you there would not be a craft show! See you there.

Stock your Pantry at the Arts Festival

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You come to the Arts Festival, most likely, for the incredible fine Art and Craftwork. You will find plenty at the Southern Vermont Art and Craft Festival – original paintings, photography, woodwork, jewelry, fiberwork, and more; but what you might not expect are the fantastic array of specialty food Exhibitors selling their edible art. And you aren’t going to want to miss these booths!

You will have plenty of options at the Jamtastic booth – small batch jams locally made in Arlington, VT. Ross and Danine Warren are proud of making their jams by hand from start to finish, using less sugar than most commercial alternatives. Pair your Vermont jam with Alaskan coffee from the Alaska Artisan Coffee, with irreverently named roasts such as Up’en At’em and Outhouse Blend. The Nut Lady will have a variety of sweet and salty nuts – baked, not roasted!

Step up your cooking game with olive oils and herbs from Lakonia Greek Products; finishing sauces, vinegar, seasonings, hot sauces, and more from Bittersweet Herb Farm; and sea salts, herbs, and oils from Sabrosa Gourmet. These make great gifts as well!

Mad River Distiller, Barr Hill, Saxton’s River Distillery, and Smuggler’s Notch Distillery will all be in attendance with their many styles and types of spirits. Taste and take home vodkas, rums, gins and more, including Saxton’s River Distillery’s Sapling Vermont Maple Liqueur.

An Art-Filled Weekend in Bennington

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The warm sun was beating through the windows of my car as my friend Sheila—a fellow arts and crafts lover—and I hit the road for Bennington, Vermont, and the Southern Vermont Art and Craft Festival. This annual event has occurred in Bennington during the first weekend in August for five years. The crowning jewel of the annual, three-day Bennington Arts Weekend, the Southern Vermont Art and Craft Festival (put on by Craftproducers) is a vibrant event that draws locals and visitors alike to the gateway of Vermont.

READ THE REST OF THIS PIECE BY KIM GIFFORDS >

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.