Arts News & Information for Your Community
NC Piedmont Triad Edition
copyright 2008 The Community Arts Cafe, Inc. Winston-Salem, NC 336-725-2372 "Simply the best Arts News & Information for Your Community!"
A Publication of The Community Arts Cafe, Inc.
November 2008 Issue
Your #1 Source for the Arts!
There will be lights, cameras and lots of action at the kick-off for the 2008 Piedmont Craftsmen' Fair. Ushering in the celebrations for the 45th Anniversary of the founding of Piedmont Craftsmen, the historic Millennium Center in downtown Winston-Salem will be ablaze with an eye-popping collaborative lighting event that brings together students from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts and visiting artist, Paul Gregory, founder and president of Focus Lighting, Inc in New York City. Creatively inspired by textures and imagery from the Piedmont Craftsmen's Fair, this bold lighting extravaganza - the first of its kind in Winston-Salem - will take place on the evenings of November, 13th, 14th and 15th. The brainchild of local arts patron Philip Hanes, the lighting event is underwritten by two members of the UNSCA Board of Visitors - Suzanne and Gilbert Matthews, owners of Lucifer Lighting in San Antonio.
Since its inception, the annual Piedmont Craftsmen's Fair has brought makers and collectors of fine crafts together for a weekend-long community event that celebrates the creative spirit manifested in handmade objects and wearables. Every November, the lower level of the Benton Convention is transformed into a sea of color and texture, accompanied by the hum of spectators talking with artists and other collectors. For those who have attended the Piedmont Craftsmen's Fair in the past, there is a feeling of homecoming each year when the doors open on Saturday morning and fair attendees dash through the aisles to locate their favorite artwork or artist, or simply saunter around enjoying the search for unexpected surprises. According to Roseann Rush, former Piedmont Craftsmen board member, current supporting member and long-time art collector, "Each year at the Fair is a discovery. Of course there are new craftsmen every year, but there are always returning craftsmen - even some of the charter members. Watching their work evolve throughout the years is inspiring."
With a 45 year history, the Piedmont Craftsmen's Fair has established a large, demographically and geographically diverse audience. In addition to local devotees, collectors from around the country make the annual pilgrimage to this high caliber crafts event. Last year roughly 4,000 people attended the fair and traveled from eight states out side of North Carolina.
This year, two of the founding members of Piedmont Craftsmen will be exhibiting their latest works: Tom Suomalainen, ceramicist, and Mary Goslen, printmaker. Mr. Suomalainen has been a regular exhibitor at the Piedmont Craftsmen's Fair and can be frequently seen each year surrounded by a gaggle of collectors clamoring for his latest work. Ms. Goslen regularly sells her lush silkscreen prints through the gallery and shop of Piedmont Craftsmen - where she has developed a devoted following - and is an eagerly anticipated return exhibitor at the 2008 fair.
The Piedmont Craftsmen's Fair not only meets the organization's mission of promoting and selling its members works, the fair also provides educational opportunities for the community throughout the two-day weekend event. This year there will be 15 scheduled demonstrations provided by exhibiting members - one demonstration each hour of the fair. These demonstrations draw attention to some of the processes craftsartists use in the production of their works and encourage school age children to experience the arts firsthand.
In addition to the mini-workshops provided during the fair, Arts for Life, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for pediatric patients through hands-on art experiences, will also have a booth on Saturday and Sunday during fair hours. Arts for Life volunteers will be providing arts activities for children during fair hours. Arts for Life is partnered locally with Brenner Children's Hospital and also serves Mission Hospital in Asheville, Presbyterian Hospital in Charlotte, and Duke Children's Hospital and Health Center in Durham. This is their second appearance at the Piedmont Craftsmen's Fair.
PIEDMONT CRAFTSMEN'S FAIR
45th Anniversary for Classic Event
This is a landmark year for the non-profit organization - one of the city's oldest and richest arts organizations. From a small group of 20 people who banded together to form the southeastern regional craft guild in 1963, Piedmont Craftsmen now counts 370 exhibiting members and over 600 supporting members among its ranks. Piedmont Craftsmen's reputation for attracting exhibiting members whose works displays the highest caliber of aesthetic and technical accomplishment is well known throughout the region. Exhibiting members to the organization must pass a rigorous, two part jury process and are only admitted once a year. This year's jury applicants to the organization will have works on display at the 2008 Fair, at which time a panel of jurists will review and cast final votes on who will be accepted into the guild.
Piedmont Craftsmen has maintained its headquarters in Winston-Salem for all of its 45 years and has, since its move to Trade Street in 2003, become a landmark in its own right in the heart of the city's Arts District. Last year the organization reached another important goal in retiring its mortgage on the gallery, shop and business offices located at 601 North Trade Street. "We have survived 45 years of good economies and bad economies and although we spent most of the organization's 45 years as renters, the purchase of our current location was a bold move for a non-profit organization such as ours. We take great pride in our ability to retire our mortgage in less than 5 years," explains Jane Doub, President and CEO of Piedmont Craftsmen. "This is a particularly fitting time to focus our appreciation on the remaining founding members of Piedmont Craftsmen and thank them for 45 years of support. We also wish to acknowledge their vision in establishing a non-profit arts organization that has gained an outstanding reputation for representing some of our nation's finest craftsartists. This organization has not only served its members by promoting their work and their passion for fine crafts, but we have also served our community by providing school children throughout our region with hands-on educational outreach workshops supplementing their public school arts experiences."
Admission to the Fair is $6.00 for adults and $5.00 for senior citizens, students and groups. Children under 12 are admitted free when accompanied by an adult. Weekend passes are also available for $10.00. Fair hours are Saturday, November 15 from 10:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. and Sunday, November 16 from 12:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. A special Preview Night Gala will be held Friday, November 14 for members and sponsors of Piedmont Craftsmen. For more information about Piedmont Craftsmen's Fair or membership in Piedmont Craftsmen, call (336)725-1516 or visit their website at www.piedmontcraftsmen.org. Piedmont Craftsmen, Inc. is a funded member of the Winston-Salem Forsyth County Arts Council.