Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Top of the crop

Artists gather in Atkinson Park this weekend

Express Staff Writer

The artists selected to participate in the Sun Valley Arts & Crafts Festival have been considered by a jury and deemed some of the best in the U.S. Courtesy photo Sun Valley Center for the Arts

The jury has spoken, and you can see its rulings when you stroll the aisles of this year's Sun Valley Arts & Crafts Festival in Atkinson Park from Friday through Sunday, Aug. 10-12.

Now in its 44th year, the free festival features live music, artist demonstrations, family and kids activities and food from local vendors in addition to some of the finest arts and crafts to be found in the nation.

The three-day festival has grown from a small gathering of artists to one of the top 100 outdoor juried festivals in the nation. Hundreds of artists apply every year for the chance to display and sell their handmade fine arts and crafts—from glasswork, fiber and jewelry to paintings, woodworking and sculpture—at a wide range of prices.

Every year brings a fresh mix of new faces and old favorites from across the country and locally.

Among the returning artists this year are 2011 Best of Show artist Robert Erickson with furniture, Best of Ceramics artist Carol Lebreton and Best of Fiber artist Lisa Telling Kattenbraker.

As always, there is a fabulous interactive children's activity area open each day from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Over the course of the weekend, teacher/artist Danica Mattias, the creator of the installation seen recently in Sun Valley Meadows called "1 in 8" and a tribute to those affected by breast cancer, will work with kids to make "talking" cards, creative disguises and sun hats.

All ages will enjoy artist demonstrations, which will be held daily from 1-4 p.m. It's a chance to meet the artists and learn more about what is behind their work.

The performing arts stage at the Arts & Crafts Festival showcases the rich musical talent in the Wood River Valley, from country-style folk and bluegrass to jazz and rock. You can pick up food on site from local vendors and pull up a chair and listen for a while—or all afternoon. The music starts each day at 11 a.m. (noon on Friday) and continues until 6 p.m. (5 p.m. on Sunday).

Festival hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Aug. 10 and 11, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 12. Atkinson Park is located in west Ketchum at the corner of Eighth Street and Second Avenue. Parking is available at the Hemingway Elementary School lot. Overflow parking is available at the Simplot lot (future home of the Sun Valley Center for the Arts) across from the post office. No dogs are allowed in the park.

For a complete list of participating artists and musicians, visit

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