More than 12,000 of St. Petersburg’s residents and visitors enjoyed the free 21st Annual CraftArt Festival held on Saturday, November 17 and Sunday, November 18, just outside the doors of the Florida CraftArt Gallery, at the crossroads of Central Avenue and 5th Street in Downtown St. Petersburg.
CraftArt Festival 2018 was presented by the Red Apple Group. Collectors and art lovers were delighted by the creations of over 100 of the nation’s best contemporary fine craft artists, artist demonstrations, food trucks, craft beers. Children learned how to make weavings in the Kids CraftArt activity tent sponsored by The Don CeSar. The two-day festival featured handmade works in ceramics, fiber, glass, jewelry, metal, paper and mixed media.
“As a sixth generation St. Petersburg native, I couldn’t be prouder of our statewide presence and success through Florida CraftArt Festival this past weekend,” said Tyler Jones, Board President of Florida CraftArt. “From artist demonstrations to children’s hands-on activities, our community has again shown the power of fine craft in bringing people together. It is this culture that defines St. Petersburg as THE arts destination in which to live and visit. Thanks to all our patrons for the continued support!”
Mr. Jones and Jean McLaughlin, the show judge and the former Executive Director of the Penland School of Crafts in North Carolina, awarded $10,000 in cash awards to the artists. The exhibiting artists said an increase in sales of their work was attributed to the great weather and strong promotion by Florida CraftArt.
CraftArt Festival also showcased the talents of seven emerging artists with the support of the DMG School Project, as Florida CraftArt engages and mentors the next generation of fine craft artists. Emerging Artists received a free booth, photography session, postcards and the opportunity to show and sell their work at a premier Festival. Those sponsoring the artists were Kevin Beck, DMG School Project, Kathryn Howd, Jennifer and Jeff Lovelady, Rising Tide Innovation Center, Royal Bank of Canada, Barbara Sansone and Robert F. and Alexandria Welker.
Other sponsors who make the festival possible are Raymond James, The Don CeSar, Regions Bank, Duke Energy, Tricera Capital, Trenam Law, Camden Pier District, Acropolis Greek Taverna, St. Pete/Clearwater International Airport, Tyrone Square Mazda, Brian James Photography, The City of St. Petersburg, the Division of Cultural Affairs for the State of Florida, Tampa Bay Times, Creative Loafing, Total Wine and WUSF. To learn more about the 21st Annual CraftArt Festival, visit FloridaCraftArt.org.