It's the 45th year of the Kenan Center's 100 American Craftsmen, and the key words for this year's show are fresher, giftier and craftier than ever.
One of the region's longest-running juried craft shows that remains devoted exclusively to fine, contemporary craft art, 100 American Craftsmen traditionally features a mix of veteran and new artisans in clay, metal, wood, leather, glass, paper, jewelry, wearable fiber and textiles, and mixed media. This year's show will include 21 new artisans, nine emerging artisans who have been practicing their craft for six years or less, and 10 "Roycroft-At-Large Artisans."
The show takes place May 29-31 at the Kenan Center Arena, 195 Beattie Ave. Hours for the event are: 6-9 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $6; children age 12 and under free. Active duty military personnel and students will be admitted for half price with ID.
A special tradition of 100 American Craftsmen continues with every patron receiving a raffle ticket for a chance to win one of the dozens of craft objects donated by the artisans.
Returning to co-chair the 2015 show are Michelle Brockman, Selena Truax Morello, and Brenda Wendt.
New Arts Experience Space
This year's event will feature something truly new: an expanded art space called the "Annex Market" that is intended to give visitors a fresh look at craft art. One of the attractions in the Annex Market will be an exhibit of work created by students of the SUNY Buffalo State design program. These "next-gen" artists work in a broad range of materials, including metal, clay, wood and fiber, producing innovative designs that are rarely seen outside of an academic setting.
The exhibit is a way for students' work to be exposed to public audiences, as well as to give visitors a chance to see the future of craft art design. Colleen Toledano, assistant professor in the ceramics program at SUNY Buffalo State, is coordinating the exhibit. She is one of this year's jurors for 100 American Craftsmen.
Also in the Annex Market will be a number of artisans who are debuting at 100 American Craftsmen for the first time. They will have jewelry, reclaimed furniture and vintage wares crafted from recycled paper, as well as whimsical mixed-media creations. Visitors will be able to see some of the artisans demonstrating their craft process, and decorative tablescapes that use craft art as inspiration.
Food, Wine, Plant Sale and More
In addition to the craft show, visitors can enjoy a variety of special amenities during the weekend. On hand will be specialty food vendors and wineries, including Lakefront Olive Orchard, Sweet Melody's, Mountaintop Kettlecorn, Singer Farm Naturals, Victorianbourg Wine Estate, Flight of Five Winery and Schulze Vineyards and Winery. Providing music on stage will be the Ralph Fava Trio, Friday; Mike Caputi & Co, Lewis & Klark Guitar Duo and Ron Corsaro Trio Saturday; and Varuna and Mark Mazur Trio, Sunday.
Inside the arena, patrons can enjoy a variety of sandwiches, salads and desserts at the sit-down café, a quilt raffle hosted by the Kenan Quilters' Guild, and The Lemonade Stand, newly updated this year with fresh-squeezed lemonade and homemade brownies, hosted by the Kenan Arts Council.
On Saturday, the Friends of the Kenan Herb Club will hold the annual herbal plant sale from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. In addition to offering a diverse collection of herbs, vegetables and flowering plants, visitors can try out samples of herb-infused foods and shop for garden-related items.
The Herb Club will be located under a tent in the Kenan gardens and in the adjacent Taylor Theater Meeting Room.
Special Exhibit of Ceramics in the Kenan Gallery
100 American Craftsmen patrons always have the added opportunity to see the current exhibit in the Kenan House Gallery. This year, the gallery is hosting the fourth installment of a fine, contemporary craft exhibit titled, "Extraordinary Forms IV: The Ceramics Legacy of Robert L. Wood." Wood is a professor of design and coordinator of the ceramics program at Buffalo State, where he has taught for 28 years.
The exhibit features a wide range of Wood's work along with those of 12 alumni: Leeann Catanzaro, Brett Coppins, Chanda Glendinning, Carrianne Hendrikson, Bethany Krull, Scott Losi, Sarah McNutt, Richard Nickel, Ann Perry-Smith, Matthew SaGurney, Aurora Hughes Villa and Travis Winters. Exhibit hours during 100 American Craftsmen will be 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and noon to 4 p.m. Sunday.
For discount coupon and complete details, visit www.100americancraftsmen.com or call 716-433-2617.