American Craft Show Features Leading National Artists & Live Demonstrations by Florida Artists

Popular event returns to Sarasota, Fl Dec. 5 - 7 with a focus on GreenCraft plus opportunity to purchase on-of-a-kind artworks plus interact with top artists from across the country
By: Mary Lou Janson
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Nov. 16, 2008 - PRLog -- Handcrafted, museum quality jewelry, apparel, furniture and more, along with eco-friendly, recycled GreenCraft and live demonstrations by local artists are among the highlights at the upcoming American Craft Show, which returns to the Sarasota Bradenton International Convention Center in Florida Dec. 5 – 7.

Nearly 175 outstanding artists from across the country have been juried into the annual event that is now in its 16th year.  Artists from California to New York will be returning along with others who have been selected to showcase their crafts for the first time.

On Friday, Dec. 5,  juror R. Andrew (Andy) Maass will lead the Award of Excellence Walking Tour beginning at 2 p.m.  Admission to the American Craft Show includes the opportunity to participate in this  guided tour that highlights the top artists honored from the outstanding group featured at this year’s event.  Maass is a former director of the Tampa Museum of Art in downtown Tampa.  The Longboat Key resident has maintained a life-long interest and involvement with American crafts throughout his 30-year career as an art museum director.  Now retired from full-time museum leadership, he continues to be actively involved as a museum consultant, collector and active board member for numerous area arts organizations.

New at this year’s event is a GreenCraft component and returning will be the popular on-site demonstrations by Highwater Clays of Florida.  GreenCraft offers artists an opportunity to express their creativity by incorporating found, recycled, eco-friendly materials and techniques into sometimes whimsical, occasionally functional and always environmentally compatible pieces.
The live clay, wheel throwing demonstrations by artists from Highwater Clays of Florida ( will be held in the convention center from noon to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday and noon to 3 p.m. on Sunday.

Those attending the show will enjoy a wide range of original art, purchase one-of-a-kind gifts and have the opportunity to interact with leading artists from a variety of media.  Handmade creations that will be exhibited and available for sale include glowing wood sculptures by Billy Hall of Durham, N.C., stunning leather masks by John Flemming of New Orleans, multi-layered, hand dyed fiber collages and quilts by Bradenton artist Robin Bowman, luxurious velvet and silk clothes hand-dyed by Fishers, Ind. artist Sally Ryan, stunning jewelry, flatware, candlesticks and more from Venice, Fl-based silversmith Robert Farrell, contemporary, organic wood furniture designed by Bloomington, Ind.’s Nathan Hunter, indoor and outdoor glass sculptures by Harrisburg, Pa.’s Sabra Richards, contemporary fine art jewelry designer Emanuela Duca of New York, whose earrings were featured on a “Sex and the City” episode, bright batik pillows and soft sculpture purses by Nancy Faris of Sarasota, cylindrical tapestries and sculptural pieces by Myra Burg of Santa Monica, Ca. and whimsical whirligigs by Jane Corbus of Lodi, Ohio.  Other artworks include hand dyed fabric collages, evening bags and purses, gourd sculptures, jewelry featuring exotic stones and imported glass and much more.  

This marks the 16th consecutive year that this Florida West Coast community has been among the cities selected to host one of six illustrious showcases presented by the American Craft Council, a non-profit, educational organization dedicated to promoting understanding and appreciation of contemporary American craft.  Throughout the year, the Council produces similar shows held in Baltimore, Atlanta, St. Paul, San Francisco and Charlotte, N.C.  Each gifted artist exhibiting at these events works with a variety of materials, ranging from clay to glass, to best express their creativity and technical mastery.

This annual, juried show is always a popular event for holiday shoppers, arts enthusiasts and collectors. All artists participating in American Craft Council Shows undergo a rigorous annual jury process that assures the admission of museum-quality work.  Each exhibitor creates unique displays of their work and is present throughout the show to offer visitors a chance to converse with the artists. Many of those participating are award-winners or have pieces included in museum collections.  Made with care, skill and ingenuity, many of the works presented at The American Craft Council Show in Sarasota are expected to be priced from $50 to thousands of dollars.

“There is always a lot of excitement that surrounds the Sarasota/Bradenton area American Craft Show, partly because it coincides with the start of the holiday season and also because of the great response the artists receive whenever they are there,” says Andrew Glasgow, executive director of the American Craft Council. “We think the GreenCraft category will be especially popular this year and look forward to presenting another collective example of the wonderful works that artists across the country continue to create.”

For additional information, please visit  Directions to the Sarasota Bradenton International Convention Center (8005 15th Street East, Sarasota, 34243), are posted at  Free parking is available on-site.  

Show Hours and Admission

Friday, Dec. 5:  10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 6:  10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Sunday, Dec. 7:  10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Admission: $8 for a one-day pass; $14 for a two-day pass.
Children 12 and under free.
American Craft Council members admitted free.

Tickets are available online or at the door.

About the American Craft Council

The American Craft Council is a national, nonprofit public educational organization founded in 1943 by Aileen Osborn Webb. The mission of the Council is to promote understanding and appreciation of contemporary American craft.  Programs include the bimonthly magazine AMERICAN CRAFT, annual juried shows presenting artists and their work, a leadership conference, the Aileen Osborn Webb Awards honoring excellence, workshops, seminars and a research library.  For additional information about the American Craft Council, call 1-800-836-3470 or visit:

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Mary Lou Janson is the creative, conscientious force behind Public Relations +. Following successful careers in journalism and public relations, she began working with businesses and organizations to become more visible and achieve their goals.
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Tags:Art, Crafts, Handwoven, Handcrafted, Original, Artists, Sarasota, Bradenton, Florida, American, Jewelry, Furniture
Industry:Arts, Event, Shopping
Location:Tampa - Florida - United States
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