Friday, 13 September 2013 11:23

Rustic Furniture Fair Celebrates Regional Art

By Chelsea DiSchiano | Entertainment

BLUE MOUNTAIN LAKE— The Adirondack region has always been famous for the rustic furniture the area’s woodworkers and carpenters have produced for over 125 years, a fact that will be celebrated this weekend at the 26th Annual Rustic Furniture Fair presented by the Adirondack Museum. 

 

The festival celebrates rustic art with displays presented by more than 50 of today’s artisans and artists, chosen by the museum for their unique interpretations of the genre as expressed in hand-crafted furniture, furnishings and Adirondack paintings.   

The genre was originally given an imaginative form when local men who were guides, carpenters and handymen created handmade furniture with materials from trees such as bark, twigs, branches, burls and logs, according to the museum.

“For lovers of rustic, this place is like the headquarters for learning about the origins of the style,” said Todd Happer, director of marketing at Adirondack Museum. “The museum has a great collection of pieces from historic hotels, great camps and cottages, and some of it is on display in this cool hillside cottage on the grounds called Bull Cottage. Visiting that place full of the work of 19th- and 20th-century master craftsmen is such a great complement to seeing how today’s inheritors of the tradition are interpreting the ‘rustic’ genre.”

At the fair, visitors will have a chance to listen to rustic makers talk about their inspirations, materials, and methods—with many conducting live demonstrations of willow bending, carving and painting. Many artists will also have their creations available for sale.

“One of the four new artisans this year is Chara Dow of Dow Rustic Works in Rochester, who does some amazing work with driftwood from Lake Ontario,” Happer said. “Another is Mark Verna, Mark Verna Art in Webster, who is a fine-artist painter but also does these cool “liquifish” that kind of bring fish into the house—without having to feed them.”

Another highlighted artist includes Tom Yacovella from Utica, a wildlife artist who’s bringing Adirondack paintings and a sculpture called “Tribute to the Whitetail” which is made from naturally shed, unaltered antlers he’s collected over a 50-year period.

Two new shows, “Great Wilderness, Great Expectations: Masterworks from the Adirondack Museum”and “Traveling with Stoddard” will both feature never-before-seen works, displayed to the public for the very first time. 

In addition to guideboat-making demonstrations, staff-led tours, audio guides, numerous children’s activities and live music provided by Intermountain Trio from Gloversville, fair attendees will also have the chance to vote for their favorite rustic maker. On Sunday afternoon the museum gives a People’s Choice award to the year’s best display/artisan.  

“Kind of like Adirondack Idol, I guess,” Happer joked. 

Happer added that meeting rustic makers is one of his favorite aspects of the fair. 

“It’s one of the great aspects of the Rustic Furniture Fair, getting to talk with working artists about their craft, finding out what inspires them and discovering how their work has evolved,” he said. 

Artist Gary Casagrain of Tupper Lake’s Casagrain Gallery echoed Happer’s sentiments about the fair. 

“It runs the full gamut from classic rustic design all the way to elegantly contemporary rustic, with everything in between,” Casagrain said.  “What’s nice about it is that they’re works of art, one of a kind.”

The museum’s Lake View Café will be open during the event, and shipping services will be available on-site, provided by the Lake Placid UPS Store.

Alternative parking will be available Saturday and Sunday on at the museum’s Collections Storage and Study Center, 8757 State Route 30 in the hamlet of Blue Mountain Lake, with a free shuttle to and from the museum provided. 

For more information visit www.adkmuseum.org.

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