Westhampton Beach Village will once again be abuzz with artisans and craftsmen, and those who enjoy shopping and admiring their wares, when the Annual Greater Westhampton Chamber of Commerce Fall 2012 Columbus Day Weekend Arts & Crafts Show runs October 6-8.
This year, the event includes more than 75 vendors, who will assemble around the Westhampton Beach Village Green and Gazebo, rain or shine, between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. Saturday, Sunday and Monday. Visitors can expect to find a creative mix of watercolors, jewelry, pottery, furniture, sculpture, glassworks, fiber work, stained glass, shell art, metalwork, clay, acrylics, photography, oils and much more. The Greater Westhampton Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and the show’s producers approve the quality of each participating artist and craftsperson.
“We jury everyone who comes into the show,” art show director John David said, though many exhibitors return year after year. He explained that the Chamber makes sure all crafts are actually handmade, and “not bought in China.” The artist or craftsman must sell his or her own work, but “once in a blue moon,” spouses or partners of artists have been allowed to represent them. “It has to be well displayed and well laid out,” David said, noting that he makes sure to avoid a flea market atmosphere.
Each vendor is given a 10-square-foot area and any tents used must be white—in order to create an attractive and cohesive look for the show, which has been running each fall for more than 30 years. “It draws a lot of business into the community,” David said, explaining that the show also creates revenue to fund the Chamber. Admission is free for shoppers and art appreciators, but each vendor pays for a spot on the Village Green. People come “by the thousands,” the director said. “Especially during the holiday weekend, we could easily have 5,000 attendees.” Exhibitors/vendors cover a wide range of media and styles, and the Chamber tries to keep that balance by limiting the number of people selling any one particular thing. For example, David said only 13-14 jewelry makers are allowed to show, otherwise the event could begin to look like a jewelry show, which is not in line with their concept.
Among the artists registered, photorealistic painter and Jamesport resident Charles Wildbank said he’s exhibited at the show since 1979. The painter is showing original pieces and affordable giclée editions, including still life, floral, figurative, landscape and more mystical creations.
This year, Wildbank is unveiling a new 57” x 57” painting called “Dune Sky” as well as some recent portraits. He is well known for much larger paintings, including his new ocean series—which can be as long as 14 feet—but that work is too big for the outdoor venue.
“It is a great market for medium-sized works,” the artist explained, noting, “My large masterpiece is shown a few blocks away at an open house on Beach Lane” with Allegra Dioguardi, owner of Styled and Sold home staging. Wildbank’s art can be seen hanging in numerous locations around the East End, including the Dan’s Papers offices in Southampton.
Westhampton artist JoAnn Maroldo is showing her award-winning oils and pastels, as seen in Southampton’s Chrysalis Gallery and travel magazines for the Village of Westhampton Beach. Remsenburg artist Meryle King is displaying her rag rugs, which include fabric from unexpected sources, like old blue jeans, while teacher and writer Anindita Ghosh is presenting her jewelry made from materials collected during her travels around the world. Ghosh’s pieces comprise traditional designs and original creations.
The dozens of artisans at the show come from the local towns, hamlets and villages, and places a little farther afield. For a complete listing, contact the Greater Westhampton Chamber of Commerce.