It’s almost like going to a music festival and watching a nationally recognized art show break out.
When visitors enter Claudius Crozet Park in Crozet for the spring edition of the 39th annual Crozet Arts & Crafts Festival, there will be a wide variety of fine arts and crafts by 120 exhibitors ranging from fine woodworking and furniture to oil and watercolor paintings to jewelry in precious metals and stones to ceramics for every occasion. The performance schedule is equally eclectic, ranging from jazz to rock to bluegrass to old-school country clogging.
“It’s a great deal for entertainment, at $7 for all day,” festival director Amanda Polson said.
Saturday’s lineup includes the Field School Boys’ Choir at 10 a.m., Peyton Tochterman and Greg Howard at 11 a.m., Skyline Country Cloggers at 1:45 p.m. and Wicked Olde at 3:15 p.m.
On Sunday’s schedule are the Western Albemarle High School Jazz Band at 10 a.m. and the Isabel Bailey Band at 2:45 p.m.
The festival’s spring show traditionally is timed for Mother’s Day weekend, and there will be a couple of mother-and-child exhibitor teams.
Fiber artist Dianna Mullen will be coming from Olympia, Washington, with wearable art and other creations. Her mother, Ayla Mullen — a potter from the Floyd area — won’t have to come as far to show her functional stoneware with hand-carved floral and botanical designs.
Another mother-and-child pairing can be found among the exhibitors. Ninika Gordon of Madison will be bringing her jewelry creations, and son Alec Gordon will be running the Phineas Rose woodworking booth.
Crozet photographer Alicia Williams of Simple Will Photography will be on hand to provide mini-photo sessions for moms and their families. Chris Coslett of Life Path Enterprises will offer short massage sessions, which have been popular with festivalgoers.
“Last year, it was so hot, but he had a little space that was under some trees,” Polson said.
There will be plenty of food vendors to choose from, including Cocina del Sol, Blue Mountain Grill, Upon Thai, Grillizza, The Pie Guy, Crabdaddy’s, Nader Food Services, Lions Club, Country Concessions, Kona Ice, Wiffle Pops and Blue Ridge Kettle Korn.
A variety of distilleries will be on hand, continuing a feature that was popular in its debut last year. Look for Virginia Distillery Company and Belle Isle.
Draft beers on tap will include Hardywood Pilsner, Devils Backbone Vienna Lager and Blue Mountain Brewery Full Nelson; cider fans will find Bold Rock Virginia Draft Cider. Bluestone Vineyard Moscato, King Family Crose, Gabriele Rausse Vin Gris de Pinot Noir and Cabernet Sauvignon NV, Barren Ridge Touriga and Cardinal Point Quattro are on the Virginia wine list.
Art demonstrations are another popular feature. Joyful Adornments Mobile Glass Studio will be back to show visitors how glass beads and buttons are created from molten glass with a torch. Meg West, a plein-air painter from Crozet, will show guests how she captures local landscapes on canvas.
Kim and Jimbo Cary will be back to run the interactive music program in the children’s area. Face painting, balloon animals and other treats await.
Curating the festival is easy on one level, because there are plenty of strong applicants to consider for crowd-pleasing silk scarves, metal sculptures, bonsai trees and flavored olive oils. On another level, Polson has a tough job, because she has to say no to some pretty amazing possibilities.
About 200 hopefuls applied for the festival’s 120 exhibiting spaces, she said.
Polson strives to assemble what she calls “a well-rounded festival,” and she includes a mix of appealing new artists and returning favorites who bring their own fans to Crozet. If you follow a favorite woodworker or jewelry artist year to year, there’s a good chance you’ll find his or her booth again so you can add to your growing collection.
“The artists really love coming here,” Polson said. “They always tell me people are really friendly here, and the audiences are very appreciative.”
Polson said last year’s resurgence of painting continues to be strong. “We have some really amazing two-dimensional art coming again,” she said.
“We could have filled an entire festival with pottery and jewelry, obviously,” she said.
The Crozet Arts & Crafts Festival is part of a wider hometown effort on Saturday to show visitors the breadth of art the town can offer. Second Saturdays Crozet will present exhibitions and a variety of related events at several locations; check out today’s Art Notes for the particulars.
To learn more about the festival, its exhibitors and offerings, go to crozetfestival.com.