TN Creates, the juried arts and crafts fair at the Secret City Festival, showcases some of the fine art and craft forms being practiced in our region.
The June 10 and 11 event will be the 10th juried craft fair within the Secret City Festival. Sponsored by the City of Oak Ridge and the Oak Ridge Art Center, the fair will be held in the Shep Lauder gym at the Civic Center until 7 p.m. each day.
“The show promises to have more than 40 of the area’s finest artists and craftsmen creating or selling their work,” a press release said. “Since the show is inside the gym, guests to the fair will find it not only a great place to find some wonderful craft pieces, but a terrific place to cool off.”
During the show, there will be continuous demonstrations in many media by members of the Art Center, including oil and watercolor painting, block printing, pottery, and several jewelry making techniques. There will be seating around the demonstrators for those who are interested in watching and learning more about the processes artists use, many of which are taught at the Art Center. Raku pottery firings will be held both days from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the show’s entrance near the bus drop off.
Parking will be at the mall with continuous bus service during the festival.
All work in TN Creates will be original artwork, the press release said. Most are one-of-a-kind items created for the event. Artists who will be exhibiting include potters, jewelry makers, painters, gemologists, weavers, glass artists, wood workers, paper artists, basket makers, pressed flower artists, photographers, doll makers, and soap makers. A wonderful variety of materials and techniques will be available. In fact, there will be work in silver, bronze, copper, clay, paper, glass, enamels, wood, and stone. Many of the artists will be working in their booths or will be demonstrating their craft in the demonstration area at some point during the festival.
For those who are always trying to find the perfect “something” that is unusual, creative, and meaningful, there will be a wealth of options from which you can select, the press release said. New artist vendors this year will add extra dimension and flair to the fair. It will feature delightful collections of watercolors and acrylics to set a mood in your home or in your imagination as the illustrations of new books such as the work of Nandine Egnatios.
A collection of handmade cards for a variety of occasions can be selected and placed in a delightful tin to create a welcome gift for almost anyone. A tin of these handmade wonders is especially welcome for those who have trouble getting out and shopping through the year. It can be easily achieved in minutes in the booth by Mickie Loosli, who will return with a tremendous selection of paper work items including stationary sets, notebooks, cards, and gift enclosures. Many of these are perfectly suited to personal use and as gifts for friends or family and offer the buyer a wide range in options.
Wood artists Vern Bonhem and Larry Wentz will have beautiful boxes and helpful tools like pepper mills for your space. There will be several clay artists who will have a wonderful mix of beautiful pieces that can be used to serve from, hold keys on the night stand, or decorate a visually dull spot in the living room. Some are very specific to our charming city and feature an “atomic” theme like some items created by Nikki Ferrara and Ryan Braby.
“Mommas Gone to Pot,” mothers who throw things around in the Art Center’s studio (clay, that is), and several other regional potters will participate and show both functional and decorative pieces. Longtime Oak Ridge resident, Joan Ellen Zucker, will offer beautiful casseroles and dishes for a variety of uses. Linda Mabry will be demonstrating raku firings in front of the bus entrance and will also show many of her handsome and handy pieces for both decorative and utilitarian desires.
Jewelry never goes out of style—ask any woman—and in TN Creates, there will be many fabulous, inventive jewelry makers that are sure to have the perfect item for you, the press release said. Maybe you are looking for a new set of “wow” earrings to make that little black dress go from “office ready” to ready for “dinner out.” There will be several jewelry makers to help you with that dilemma. Ruth Prince, known for her delightful mixes of color and texture in their work, will be among the jewelry makers you will want to peruse and consider. From enameling to dichroic glass to beaded elements, her jewelry has many characters, so one is bound to fit the personality for which you might be shopping.
But there will be many types of jewelry. New to the exhibition will be work by Susan Armstrong featuring a strong Boho feel in leather metal and wonderful combinations of materials; Anne Page whose beautiful seed bead jewelry is both delicate and intricate; and by Natalie Stout, who produces beautiful pieces with a vintage theme and feeling. Marianne Gansley will be joining us from Gallery of Holiday Shops with her work featuring antique buttons, watch parts and vintage spoons. For those with a deep love of the Victorian graphic look, these will last two will have special appeal.
Fiber artists at TN Creates will offer some wonderful ideas for now and later in the year—wardrobe or housewares. A handsome rug for in front of your sink or a clever clutch purse might be just the ticket to create the look you desire. And a light poncho is almost perfect as a cover-up during warm weather—you can glide it on over virtually any outfit and fend off the cool from air conditioning when going inside. How could you go wrong?
For more sturdy applications, Judy and Vernon Davis will offer baskets as will Scott Eatherly. Scott will also be showing beautiful caning and woven grass bottoms for chair seats. Randy McCurdy will return with his naturally inspired pressed wildflower designs that can bring a bit of spring or summer into any space and brighten up a dreary day. Michael Naney will be showing photographs both framed and unframed and in forms to share such as original greeting cards. Fragrant soaps and lotions do double time as both aids to get clean supple skin, but also to add a light scent to portions of your home that makes them more appealing and very welcoming.
Gabriella Solomon-Henry will offer ideas for the youngest and, perhaps, oldest person you know. She makes dolls for all ages, fragrant soaps, and personal care items. Some items are perfect for purchase now so they are available to your family to begin new traditions or revive others at the holidays. Case in point, Solomon-Henry has wonderful “wish” dolls that would be perfect to share with your family at gatherings in the fall leading up to Christmas.
And speaking of the holiday season, “Santa” Joseph Moore will share his “Santa Claus Trilogy” from the North Pole Press as well as an abundance of “Yuletide cheer.” These are just a few of the fine artists and craftsmen and women that will be in TN Creates. All the artisans and crafters will have wonderful items, all do beautifully crafted work that is bound to please any shopper. Many of the participants are members of the Foothills Craft Guild which started over 40 years ago in Oak Ridge.
The event will provide a hold/pick-up service so patrons will not have to worry about carrying purchases during the festival. Items purchased from any TN Creates vendor can be bagged, labeled, and held at the Art Center main booth so purchasers may wander the festival unencumbered. Items may be picked up before 7 p.m. as they travel to the shuttle stop outside the gym doors. The Art Center is providing the service for the convenience of patrons and to allow people to enjoy the festival while safe keeping their purchases.
TN Creates is the perfect opportunity to see quality work to purchase for yourself or to start your holiday shopping early and it’s free—there is no entry fee, the press release said. For more information, call the Art Center at (865) 482-1441 or visit its Facebook page.
This press release was submitted by Explore Oak Ridge and Oak Ridge Art Center.
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