Thursday, November 12, 2015

Transformation to Occur At Crafts Center: Holiday Festival of Crafts Over 60 Artists Featured Including many with Worcester Roots

WORCESTER, MA- The Worcester Center for Crafts in Worcester announces that their annual Holiday Festival of Crafts will be held at their 25 Sagamore Road facility on Friday, November 27, Saturday, November 28, and Sunday, November 29, 2015.  Featuring over sixty fine craft artists and their work, the Festival is held indoors and includes free parking and an on-site cafe provided by Bushel N Peck.  The Festival is open on Friday and Saturday from 10 AM - 5 PM, and on Sunday 11 AM - 4 PM.  Admission is a $5 donation to the Crafts Center with children 12 and under free.
On Saturday of the Festival, attendees will be seasonally entertained as well by Greg Robertson of the Worcester Kiltie Band.  The band, founded in 1916 is one of the oldest pipe bands in the country and it is the first band from the United States to win a grade 1 (premier level of playing) in official competition in Scotland. 
The Holiday Festival is a true alternative and antidote to the Black Friday shopping madness that invades malls and big box stores the weekend after Thanksgiving: it features hand-made work in an environment where you can meet the maker.  It is part of the Craft Center's mission to sustain craft as an important part of the community showcasing craft and artisan gifts for purchase - ceramics, wearable art (including scarves, shawls, and hats), photography, hand-printed stationery, glass work, jewelry and metalwork, work by woodworkers, and much more.   Twenty percent of the artists are new to the Festival this year (see attached list).
Sponsored by UniBank, the Festival continues the tradition of the Worcester Center for Crafts as an economic engine for artists.  Additional support is provided by the Worcester Regional Transit Authority.

"This Festival follows the European tradition of focusing on craft and art for holiday shopping," said Candace Casey, the organizer of the show.  "We literally empty the Craft Center's 25 Sagamore Road building and transform it into a European-like Holiday Marketplace, filled to the brim with quality work at a range of prices.  We like to say 'hand-made, heart-felt.'  And this year we'll have bagpipes to boot!"

The Holiday Festival also features artists with a connection to the Worcester Center for Crafts.  Lauren Beaudoin, who teaches classes in jewelry making at the Center, grew up in Worcester and was part of the Center's TAP (Teen Apprentice Program) before studying and honing the skills needed to be a fine art craftsperson.  Similarly, Katey Curtis, originally from Worcester, was part of the Center's Professional Certificate Program and is now a jewelry designer and maker of note.

The Worcester Center for Crafts Gallery Store will also be open during the Festival making available work by artisans from all over the country including fine glass work by Simon Pearce and over 200 other artisans.  Festival goers will also be able to sign up for a variety of classes and workshops while at the Craft Center, including one evening workshops where you produce glass, metal and clay objects for giving.  
Even the artists have a good time at the Festival.  "It is a lively and colorful event that annually brings master artisans together with patrons in support of the arts, education and culture," said glass artist Tony Faith, and the result is hand-made gifts for family and friends. The Festival coincides with Shop Local Saturday and accentuates the "Buy American/Buy Local" theme of hand crafts.  

Artists Participating