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American Craftsmen Artisan Festival celebrates 50 years

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Wed, Jun 30th 2021 02:55 pm

Kenan Center will host several events on campus July 10 & 11 

The Kenan Center in Lockport is celebrating 50 years of its American Craftsmen Artisan Festival with a weekend packed of community events on their Kenan Center Campus July 10 and 11. 

“We will be hosting five separate events throughout our 25-acre campus with the goal of sharing both high-quality craft artisans and the beauty of our campus with the community,” said Parrish Gibbons Herzog of the Kenan Center. “We are happy to be a host site for city-run events, too.” 

One of those events, the American Craftsmen Artisan Festival, has been reenvisioned throughout the planning process during COVID-19 and will include 50 invitation-only craft and fine art artisans who exhibit high-quality work in either ceramics, fiber, decorative glass, decorative metal, leather, basketry, wood working, jewelry or fine arts.

Several local artisan fairs have been canceled this summer. Regional artisans, including ceramics artisan Junko McGee, are eager to share their work with the community. 

“I enjoy exploring different glaze techniques and designs,” McGee said of her work. “I use brushes to create water color-like glaze effect, create earthy surface textures, and carving to enhance designs. 

“I haven’t seen larger artisan fairs this summer. I feel fortunate and delighted to participate in 50th American Craftsmen show as a retiring artist.” 

In addition to the Artisan Festival, the Kenan Center will host its second annual “g(art)en” event in tandem with the “Lockport in Bloom Garden Walk” throughout the Kenan House gallery gardens. Four artists were selected from community proposals to have temporary art installations on display throughout the weekend. Selected artisans/collectives include Brian and Kim Christy, Robin Damiano, and Ellen Martin and Dominique Mediak-Pirigyi. 

The Kenan campus will also host the following events throughout the American Craftsmen 50th anniversary weekend: “Petals to Pedals” and “Music in the Gardens” with Paul Hage and Mirage.

Shopping passes for the Artisan Festival are $5 and support the Kenan Center arts, education and recreational programming. More information about the American Craftsmen 50th anniversary weekend can be found at www.kenancenter.org or by calling 716-433-2617. 

The Kenan Center, one of the premier facilities in the Buffalo Niagara Region for arts, education and recreation programming, was established in 1967. The Kenan Center campus is home to the Kenan House; the Kenan Arena; the education building, which houses the Montessori preschool; and the Taylor Theater. For more information about the Kenan Center, visit www.kenancenter.org.

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