Mt. Mitchell Crafts Fair

mtmitchellcraftsfair6If you happen to be around Burnsville on August 1 and 2, it is definitely worth the time to enjoy the Mount Mitchell Crafts Fair. More than 150 juried crafters display their wares in this angelic town square. Burnsville is 35 miles northeast of Asheville near Mt. Mitchell. The annual show includes work by artisans throughout the Blue Ridge Mountains and selections include jewelry, handmade quilts, wooden bowls, pottery, rustic furniture and more.

There is also fun live music along with the crafts. Scheduled acts this year include Road Tripp, Revolution Unseen, Doc Hill Bluegrass Band, Cloggers and many others.

As the Chamber of Commerce explains, “The nostalgic town square of Burnsville will once again be transformed into the best event east of the Mississippi, the Mt. Mitchell Crafts Fair. As you stroll up and down the “Norman Rockwell” streets lined with artist booths, you will find chairs and tables, hand hewn from rhododendron bushes and maple logs, seasoned blacksmiths producing everything from whimsical fairies to intricate candelabras. So, grab yourself a warm bag of fresh popped kettle corn and continue around the square and onto the side streets. You will see sparkling glass, gold, silver, and beaded jewelry, from the contemporary to the very traditional. Birdhouses, candles, soaps, and lotions available in every size and shape and we guarantee that you will find something that you like and must have. Our over 200 artists are as varied as the crafts that they produce and many will be working on their craft as you browse.”

Northern Kentucky: A Great Summer Get-Away

Few things are as fun as the summer art festival scene. And if you haven’t been to out-of-the-way Northern Kentucky in the summer, you may actually want to give this a try. Yes, this sounds a bit out of the way, but it’s truly a delight. Here is a list of some of the amazing festivals brewing in Northern Kentucky this summer.

23rd annual Italianfest: Come wine and dine like an Italian. The events kick off at the Bocce Ball Tournament at Pompilios Restaurant on June 11th. They continue from Thursday to Sunday. Get more information here:

motorcycle rallyNewport Motorcycle Rally: This takes place from July 3-6 where you can participate in the contest for the best bike and enjoy live music, fireworks, prizes and more. This is at the Newport Festival Park and Newport on the Levee. See more here:



Boone County Heritage Day and Chalkfest: You won’t want to miss this feast for the eyes on July 12th. Enjoy the sidewalk chalk art by local artists and see the vintage auto show sponsored by the Boone County Historical Museum. For more information, call859-371-5882.

Kentucky Art Outpost: July 25-27 you’ll be able to see some of the greatest art in Kentucky. Dozens of regional artists will come together to present their glass, photos, ceramics, jewelry and crafts. The event is at the World Peace Bell Park in Newport. Learn more Phone: 859-655-7700.

These are just a few of the many great events Northern Kentucky has to offer this summer. This just might be the family get-away worth doing this year!

Shapell Manuscript Foundation Note Expresses Reagan’s Sadness at Kennedy Assassination

Hand-written note from Reagan to Mrs. Kennedy

Hand-written note from Reagan to Mrs. Kennedy

June 5, 1968 was a sad day in American history. After giving his victory speech upon winning the Democratic primary in California, Robert F Kennedy took a short cut through the kitchen of the famed Ambassador Hotel. Waiting for him was Arab assassin Sirhan Sirhan, present to express his hatred of the United States in general, and Kennedy in particular. Shots rang out, Kennedy was mortally wounded, and the country mourned a man who was not only considered a politician with integrity, but a man who at the time had 10 young children and a pregnant wife.

Among the country’s mourner’s was the Governor of California, Ronald Reagan. When he heard the terrible news, he quickly penned a short note to Ethel, Kennedy’s widow, expressing is sorrow and offering whatever help she might need. The note, part of the collection of the Shapell Manuscript Foundation, was obviously written quickly and in a state of severe concern for the welfare of Mrs. Kennedy. Though brief, the few words express a deep-felt sadness.

Mrs. Robt. Kennedy
I know there is little anyone can say at such a time but if there is anything we can do to be of help in any way please let us know.
Our thoughts and prayers are with you.
Nancy & Ronald Reagan
Good Samaritan Hospital
Los Angeles, Calif.

The note is an interesting and moving memento from a sad time in US history.

RiNo: A Place to See in Denver

Denver, Colorado and the surrounding area is a great summer destination. It’s also beautiful in the winter and perfect for a ski holiday. But the summer is the time to enjoy all sorts of outdoor activities offered in Denver. If you’ve never been to RiNo, an artsy district just north of Downtown Denver, it’s time to go.

Here, you’ll find businesses including architects, art galleries, ceramicists, furniture makers and more. You’ll also see an array of studio spaces and many artists at work. Just a few days ago, on May 17th, they had a “Trek the wilds of RiNo Art District” event. It was a tour that included over 30 locations and 50 art studios and creative spaces that were open to the public.



For those who missed this event, there is always the First Friday where you can wander through loads of galleries and stores, enjoying the artistic creations of many. Here is more information about the First Fridays program:

Lower East Side Art Fair: cutlog

cutlogNew Yorkers who love art and the Lower East Side should get themselves to cutlog from May 8-11, 2014. The art fair includes 50 galleries and curators and the events will include performances, talks, films, art, installations and more.
As the website explained,

“cutlog NY will focus on showing cutting-edge and established galleries that promote the work of contemporary artists. The fair aims to foster new relationships between galleries, collectors and art institutions, forming a collaborative platform for building new perspectives on contemporary art. cutlog NY aims to be a creative laboratory, showcasing works by artists from all over the world and offering them the opportunity to gain global visibility.”

The event will take place at the Celemente, a beautiful Dutch Neo-Gothic building on the Lower East Side. Each of the 50 exhibitors will present an original project.

Last year’s participants included: Art Amalgamated, Art Connections, B. Pailley Projects, Be-poles, Celine Moine, Cirrus, Concept Art, Creative Growth, Edward Cutler, Framental Museum, Front Room and others.

Bucketlist Ideas

Now that my husband and I are retired we’ve been living out our dreams. Up until now, our dreams haven’t been grand – we love art and antiques and have been going to art shows and traveling to galleries. But as we approach 70 we are starting to think about our bucketlist. What do we really want to accomplish and see before we are too old and tired to do so? Here are a few of the items on our list so far. We are certainly open to other suggestions.

1.Lake Hillier, Australia. I’ve always been enthralled by Australia. The art there is supposed to be fascinating and the scenery breathtaking. This spot recently caught my eye and created even more reasons for me to want to visit. Isn’t this interesting?






2. Mount Kilimanjaro. Yes, this may be absolutely insane, but we are both hikers and we’ve fantasied about pursuing this dream. Lately, I’ve been reading blogs of those who have succeeded, and those who have failed in their attempts to conquer the mountain. One particularly sweet blog called Concert Addict Chick caught my attention. The blogger actually managed to reach the summit with her 65 year old father, fulfilling a dream that both of them had. As she wrote in her blog, “I am SO proud of my dad, myself & everyone else on Team Tembo (“tembo” means “elephant” in Swahili) for having the strength (both mentally & physically) to reach the summit. I’m also beyond grateful to our four Thomson Safari guides, Prosper, Calvin, James & David, & our FORTY-THREE Thomson porters for working harder than I’ve ever seen anyone work for 9 straight days to assist 8 American, amatuer “mountaineers” in living out their dream of climbing to the top of Kilimanjaro.”

3. Other ideas we are floating around include: Maldives, Bora Bora, Antarctica and even the Ice Hotel in Sweden.

We will keep you posted about what we decide to do first!

Don’t Miss The Woodlands Waterway Arts Festival

woodlandsIf you’re in Texas between Saturday, April 12 and Sunday, the 13th, you simply must get to The Woodlands Waterway Arts Festival. Greg Lawler’s Art Fair SourceBook (AFSB)TM has ranked the festival the number one in Texas and the number 3 in the nation at large for fine art sales. This was in comparison to 600 art fairs in the US in 2013.

Cindy Hardin, President of The Woodlands Waterway Arts Council, said, “It is incredible that after only eight years, The Woodlands Waterway Arts Festival is one of the top fine art festivals in the country.  Art Fair SourceBook is the ‘go to’ website for fine artists across the country, ranking the festivals by artists’ sales. This ranking acknowledges the high quality of work of our exhibitors and the deep interest and support of the community.”

The Woodlands Waterway Arts Festival is a juried arts festival that occurs annually. It features over 200 national, regional and international fine artists who display their original designs.

As part of the festival, participants can enjoy an awesome DRUM JAM on Saturday, April 12, 2014 from 4-7pm at The Woodlands Waterway Square. This second annual event will include interactive drum and beat stations, bongo drums, drum lines, junkyard percussions and more. In attendance will be Let Them Drum! All-Stars, the Sam Houston State University Steel Drum Band, Dan the Drummer and more!

All proceeds from the drumming event will go to Because Art Matters. As Kayleen Barton, Coordinator for Because Art Matters, said,  “For a donation, participants can join in the drumming fun – either on trash cans and buckets (like STOMP), on hand drums from around the world, or as part of a drum line! The event promises to be a fun time and an opportunity to make a real difference in the community by helping to bring fine arts to those who would not otherwise have the opportunity.”

The La Quinta Arts Festival: Fun in the Sun

If you’re stuck in cold weather on the East Coast and you’re ready for a change, California is definitely the place to be right now. And all the more reason to be there – the 32nd La Quinta Arts Festival is coming from March 6-9. This is a lovely festival in sunny Southern California. Greg Lawler’s 2014 Art Fair SourceBook has ranked it #1 for Fine Art Festivals and #1 for Fine Craft Festivals in the Nation.

Here is a glimpse at just a few of the people you’ll see at the festival:
Oil painter Rimas Ciurlionis will be at Booth #635. As the website for the festival explains, Rimas Ciurlionis “creates abstracts thick with texture, with layers upon layers of paint making it almost like sculpture. His pieces provoke emotion, memory, mood. They touch you deep within, and invite you to enter this meditative space.  His is work that is painted like a symphony.”
John Wayne Jackson will be at Booth #530. As the website for the festival explains, he “is all about leaves. Tree leaves, flower leaves, vegetable leaves, leaves turning colors, spring, summer, fall leaves. Small scale and enormous, leaves found in the jungle, the forest, and the desert, Jackson creates sculptures making use of nature’s beautiful bounty.”

Alex and Mona Szabados live in Mokelumne Hill, California. As the website explains, “They have collaborated to make jewelry for over 30 years, won numerous awards and their work has been published in several books and magazines, including the front cover of “Ornament” magazine. Each Enamel piece is built up gradually using transparent enamel with 24 karat gold foil and granules, and pure silver foil, in approximately 40 layers and firings.”

Looking Back at George Washington

letter from George Washington

letter from George Washington

It is always interesting and fun, on the anniversary of a great leader’s birthday, to reflect on their life. February 22, 1732 was George Washington’s birthday. Today, while we see him as one of the most influential of American leaders, it is fascinating to look at his shortcomings and fears. He was, in essence, just like the rest of us.

On April 1, 1789, he wrote a draft of a letter that the Shapell Manuscript Foundation has in its possession as part of its Between The Lines program. Writing to the Honorable Major General Henry Knox, he expressed his fear about becoming the President. As he wrote,

For myself, the delay may be compared to a reprieve; for in confidence I tell you, with the world it w[oul]d. obtain little credit) that my movements to the chair of government will be accompanied by feelings not unlike those of a culprit who is going to the place of his execution; so unwilling am I, in the evening of a life nearly consumed in public cares, to quit a peaceful abode for an Ocean of difficulties, without that competency of political skill, abilities & inclination which is necessary to manage the helm.

He continued,

_ I am sensible, that I am embarking the voice of the people, and a good name of my own, on this voyage; but what returns will be made for them _ Heaven alone can foretell. _

While this letter, displayed with the Shapell Manuscript Foundation, is only a draft, it is close to the final version and certainly shows Washington’s misgivings and fears about his upcoming change.


A Must-See Over President’s Day Weekend: Miami Art+Design

MA+DPresident’s Day Weekend just started looking up, as the Miami Art+Design (MA+D) will premiere there from February 14-18. The fair will take place at downtown’s Bayfront park and has been organized by IFAE in collaboration with the French SNA.\

As Christian Deydier, the President of the SNA said, “The fair will be especially attractive to collectors, architects, and designers from throughout the United States and Latin America. Miami is a vibrant, exciting city that has become a major cultural meeting point for the Americas.”

Some of the galleries that are showing up for the event include: Galerie Alain Marcelpoil (Paris) | Galerie Dumonteil (Paris) | Galerie Jacques Bailly (Paris) | Galerie Vallois (Paris + New York) | AANW (Miami) | Moretti Fine Art (Florence + London + NY) | Peter Finer (London) | Phoenix Ancient Art (New York) | Richard Green (London) | Robilant + Voena (London + Milan) | Stair Sainty Gallery (London) | Tambaran Gallery (NY) | Toninelli Art Moderne (Monaco).

Along with the incredible art that will be on display, there are many events planned over the long weekend. On February 13th there will be an opening night event benefiting the Patricia and Phillip Frost Art Museum. On Friday, February 14th there is an event entitled “Olga de Amaral: The Mantle of Memory by Agnes Monplaisir.” On Saturday, Michael Goedhuis will discuss contemporary Chinese brush painting and on Sunday, February 16th, Wendy Maruyama will discuss “Art + Design as Advocacy.”