By CHRIS KOURAPIS
LET’S GO CORRESPONDENT
Now is your chance to purchase a wide variety of affordable art and unique crafts at the 10th Annual Downtown Venice Craft Festival this weekend.
Due to the Venice Beautification Project the Festival will move from its usual location on Miami Avenue to 401 W. Venice Ave., in Front of City Hall.
As an added bonus, the Venice Farmer’s Market will be taking place on Avenues Des Parques alongside the Craft Festival, and both will run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 1, and Sunday, Sept. 2.
“We are excited to partner with Venice Farmer’s Market as this will be a great opportunity for locals to visit with all the vendors in person,” explained Erin Silk, Chief Executive Officer for Venice MainStreet, Inc.
Festival organizers expect over 100 artists and craftspeople to participate this year. A Green Market will offer live flora, freshly popped kettle corn, gourmet spices, and sauces. Arts and crafts will include a wide variety of ceramics, jewelry, stained glass, metal sculpture, photography, paintings, jewelry, candles, clothing, hats, hair accessories, paper collage, books, and soaps/lotions. Favorites include Rasa Saldaitis, paintings; Gretchen Singh, pottery; John Grammer, stainless steel sculptures; Peter Lakiotis, pet accessories; Janet Campagna, children’s and dolls’ outfits; and Joyce Slate, jewelry.
Lithuanian born oil & acrylic artist Rasa Saldaitis relocated to the United States in 1994.
“My European background and experiences in America heavily influence my paintings. They reflect my love for color and the world around me.” she writes.
Gretchen Singh creates jewelry storage organizers, sage and blue ring holders, mugs, planters, soup bowls, pie plates, and more-all dishwasher, microwave and oven safe. See her work on www.custommade.com/ potterybygretchen.
Joyce Slate designs fine silver jewelry. “I have different styles, each inspired by a love of the sea, archology, ancient history, or mythology,” she writes on her website www.mythosjewelry.com.
For 30 years Janet Campagna has been selling distinctive children’s clothing with matching doll’s outfits.
“Each year I create my own patterns and design a new line of boys and girls clothing, so customers will always find something different at every show. Our dolls with matching outfits come with a variety of eye, skin, or hair color, and a personalized heart,” said Campagna. Metal Sculptor, John Grammer, specializes in crafting sea life such as tarpon, tuna, dolphin, stingrays, barracuda, and turtles. Grammer creates unique stainless steel pieces that he colors using only a heat technique that produces a rainbow of permanent colors.
“Marine grade stainless will never rust even in salt, and no finish is needed. I attach a metal hook in the back of every wall sculpture at the ideal balancing point, and every piece is signed and dated,” explains Grammer. View his work at www.Johngrammerart.com.
For more information, call 941-484-6722 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
|Rasa Saldaitis’ many colorful scenes may be found at her booth during the Venice Craft show this weekend.|
|John Grammer will be displaying stainless steel sea life sculptures for sale at the Venice Craft Festival on Saturday-Sunday, Sept. 1-2.|
VENICE, FL (WWSB) – For nearly 20 years the Venice Farmers Market has been at home on Tampa Avenue. But it’ll be moving when the downtown reconstruction project begins on July 9th.
“I think with the scope of the project downtown it only makes sense to be in an interim location while that’s happening,” said Market Manager Lee Perron.
The interim location is just a few blocks west, at City Hall. Perron is excited about the move… but with a stipulation. “I don’t think this is a good long-term location simply because we have a smaller market with smaller crowds during the summer.”
Tampa, Venice and Miami Avenues will be torn up and redone over the next several months. That’s forcing several downtown events to move.
“It’s going pretty well even though as humans we don’t take change real well, everyone is understanding the magnitude and purpose of the project,” said Assistant City Manager Len Bramble.
That being said – when the project is over the city is keen on moving the Farmer’s Market permanently. “If we can make it more enticing in a better location for the Farmer’s Market we’d like to explore those opportunities. And two: we know in the long run the Farmers Market needs to get off west Tampa which is one of our major east/west thoroughfares,” Bramble said.
Perron isn’t against the permanent move. He just doesn’t want the market to stay by City Hall. He wants to go onto Nassau Street. “It’s a perfect fit for us. We’re still downtown, we’re still visible, we have the infrastructure with the parking at Centennial Park and the restrooms located close by.”
Plus Perron points out the market has grown exponentially over the last year.
“We went from 2,300 a week during the February/March timeframe to 5,000 per week. So you’re going to need a location that is going to handle that many vendors and that kind of attendance volume,” Perron said.
The downtown reconstruction project will end sometime around late December or early January.