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42nd annual Texas Arts & Crafts Fair set for September, artists deadline quickly approaches

The 42nd Annual Texas Arts & Crafts Fair is coming up. The fair will be held on the 13-acre grounds of the Hill Country Arts Foundation in Ingram on September 29-30, 2018 from 10 AM- 6 PM. Admission for this event is $8 for adults and $5 for students. Kids under 12 are free to attend.

A concert is also happening on Friday night, September 29, at 7:30 PM. The concert will take place at The Point Theatre. Reserved seating is $25 and $35. The VIP Package, $60, includes food, beverage, and admission to the fair

The Texas Arts and Crafts Fair will have more than 100 artists and exhibitors, performers and demonstrators entertaining and enlightening the public.

HCAF says that after a hiatus of five years, the 42nd annual “official” state arts festival will be held September 29-30, featuring a wide range of arts and crafts by exclusively Texas residents, as well as favorite fair food offerings, entertainment and related educational and recreational activities.

According to the Hill Country Arts Foundation, “the fair kicks off with a concert Friday night, Sept. 28, featuring Matt Nokoa, a 2014 Grassy Hill Kerrville New Folk winner from New York, and Harpeth Rising, a trio of classically trained musicians. These performers will be accompanied by a 25-piece chamber ensemble from Kerrville’s Symphony of the Hills, conducted by Gene Dowdy. The concert is sponsored by the Texas Arts & Crafts Fair, Kerrville Folk Festival and the Symphony of the Hills.”

The HCAF also states, “Among the other new features is an exhibit by “Heritage Artists,” who have a historical connection to the arts and crafts fair and to the Hill Country Arts Foundation.

This invitation-only special exhibit will be indoors at the foundation’s Duncan-McAshan Gallery. Invited exhibitors include regional artists who have a historical connection to the arts and crafts fair and to the Hill Country Arts Foundation.

Headliners include watercolorist Edith Maskey of Comfort and goldsmith Fred Stockbauer of Wimberley, both of whom exhibited at the first fair, held in 1972 on the Schreiner University campus in Kerrville.

Joining them are other creative notables such as Kathleen Cook and Joyce Barton of Kerrville, Dusty Pendleton of Bandera, Daryl Howard and Steve Kriechbaum, both of Austin, Terri McAshan of Lake Travis, John Maskey of Comfort and Mark Jackson of Ingram.

Scores of other artists will exhibit in festival tents in the area surrounding Stonehenge II. Ceramics, photography, woodworking, and painting of all types will share the tents with jewelry makers, basket makers, metal workers, weavers and fiber artists.

Kids and adults also will be treated to interactive demonstrations by artists and crafters, including the Fredericksburg Spinning Guild, Doug Garey’s blacksmithing, ceramics by Teresa Craighead and rock stacking by Robert Santa.

Doug Baum and the Texas Camel Corps will provide historical fun, while the Happy Tails Petting Zoo will offer unlimited cuteness.

HCAF board president Sonny Payne said the 13-acre site on the banks of the Guadalupe River is the ideal location to showcase this major community event.

“The Texas Arts & Crafts Fair is a perfect fit with the core visual arts, performing arts, and educational programs at the Point,” Payne said.

Event director Wanda Cash said organizers hope to recreate the ambiance of the original fair that was held on the Schreiner University campus.

“So many people have shared their fond memories of that location,” she said. “We want to offer a similar experience at our beautiful venue on the banks of the Guadalupe.”

James Avery Jewelry will be a “Legacy Sponsor” of the 2018 Fair. Company founder Jim Avery was a board member and supporter of both the arts and crafts fair and the Hill Country Arts Foundation.

The last fair was held in 2013 and its non-profit foundation was forced to declare bankruptcy later that year. After the bankruptcy, the Hill Country Arts Foundation acquired rights to the fair’s name and began plans to relocate the fair to the arts foundation’s grounds in Ingram.

HCAF executive director David Howard said the foundation has been gearing up to host the fair. Howard said the arts foundation received a grant from the Hal & Charlie Peterson Foundation in Kerrville, which helped pay for infrastructure improvements, including parking and electrical upgrades, plus a new phone system that has expanded and strengthened Wi-Fi across the grounds.

“Over the past years we have tested our campus capabilities by hosting smaller events like the Celtic Festival with good results so we now feel this larger event can finally be brought back to Kerr County,” Howard said.

The idea for the arts and crafts fair originated in 1970, when the Texas Tourist Development Agency, inspired by successful arts fairs in West Virginia and Canada, wanted to establish a similar event in Texas. From a number of competing cities, Kerrville was selected as the host site, and the first arts and crafts fair was held over Memorial Day weekend in 1972, designated as the official state arts and crafts fair by the Texas Legislature.

Cash said the Governor’s Office contacted music entrepreneur and Kerrville Folk Festival founder Rod Kennedy and asked him to create a music event to complement the fair and the two iconic Kerrville events kicked off together.

“The Friday night concert will feel like a reunion of old friends,” Cash said.”

Artists, food vendors, and musicians interested in participating can find more information on the fair’s website:

Artist deadline to apply is June 8. Follow this link to apply.

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