On Saturday, May 16 (10:00am to 7:00pm) and Sunday, May 17 (10:00am to 5:00pm) dozens of jewelers, fiber, glass and leather craftspeople, photographers, painters and printmakers will showcase handmade-in-the-USA wares.
Fair shoppers can also enjoy food and drink from the City’s best food trucks and carts. Entertainment and family fun will include live music, circus performances, art lessons for the kids, games and prizes, sidewalk chalk drawing, a selfie station, patriotic decor and other surprises.
“We’re all about bringing America’s Best to ‘We the People’, so being at the birthplace of freedom of expression, innovation and independence is a beyond special opportunity to strut our stuff” said co-founding artist and producer Leslie Manas. “With the Liberty Bell and Independence Mall just footsteps away, we wanted to create a public arts tradition where fellow local, regional and national could connect with a global audience.”
Nestled in the heart of Old City’s Historic District, CRAFT PHILA presents two days of open-air shopping and family fun at the corner of 6th and Market Streets. The fair route runs along Market towards 7th Street, and along 6th Street towards Chestnut. The fair is free, and is held rain or shine.
Piece from Brenda Morrison
Expect to see handcrafted jewelry, accessories, and wearables along with decorative and functional wares in a wondrous spectrum of styles, and in all prices. Guests will also enjoy meeting the invited independent artisans who will show and sell their original, signed creations.
Craft specialties include ceramics, wood, glass, metal, fiber, leather, mixed-mixed, upcycled and recycled. Featured in the visual art category are photography, prints and graphic art. Select artists and makers will include:
· Anastasia Alexandrin – My work is charcoal on paper, drawn one line at a time to create a textured look.
· Barri Riley – I photograph my subjects then hand paint directly on the photo with acrylic paint.
· BirdQueen Designs – Handmade plastic jewelry featuring original illustrations.
· Bovano of Cheshire – Nature wall sculptures crafted in glass enamels fused to copper.
· Colleen Williams Clay – Hand-colored, patterned, slab-built, decorative and functional work in porcelain.
· Eastwood Gourd Art – Hard-shell gourds, accents of basketry, wood-burning, antlers, driftwood, paints.
· Gallery G Glass – Hand-blown art glass.
· Gift Boxes by Elaine – Hand-crafted fabric-covered boxes, decorated in a wide variety of fabrics, trims.
· Gilbert & Leona – Handmade, one-of-a-kind items made from recycled/post-manufacture leather.
· Jasmine Keane – As a lampworker I have created glass beads on a torch for over 20 years.
· Jean Designs Studio – Expressive jewelry and lockets finely handcrafted in precious metals. Fair co-founder.
· Jennifer Kerper – Sterling silver pieces that are hand-formed, hard soldered and wheel polished.
· Kaato Bags – Handmade hand bags and purses using fabrics.
· Lindafig – Post production, sculptural leather bags, wallets, jewelry, and boxes.
· Marissa Evans Photography – Urban and landscape photography with a surrealistic twist.
· Martha Rotten – Edgy lead-free pewter jewelry hand crafted strictly on a craft production level.
· Muso Masiri – Handmade, African-inspired jewelry using recycled materials.
· Neal Drobnis – Blown and cast glass both decorative and functional works of art.
· Philly Word Art – Hand written word art originals. Prints and canvas wraps.
· Pure Bliss – Jewelry and accessories with soutache embroidery, one of a kind wearable art pieces.
· Stijfselkissie – Clothing featuring collages made from surface designs and cutting fabric.
· Susan Meier Jewelry – Semi-precious stones, freshwater pearls, leather, gold vermeil and sterling silver.
· Terry’s Boutique – Handmade scarves and shawls with yarns&fabrics using own patterns and technique.
· Through the Eyes of David – Printed on matted fine art paper matted, artist canvas stretched onto gallery wraps.
· Tobi Adetunji Arts – Acrylic painting on canvas with hand crafted threading.
· Torn Away – Fine art paper mosaic collage.
· Trenz Leather – Customized leather belts with embossed motifs.
New in 2015, CRAFT PHILA will celebrate the culinary arts by showcasing the City’s top food trucks – all serving street food and delicious treats.
· Gigi & Big R Caribbean Soul Food – Ox Tail, Jerk, Curry, Brown Stew and Fried Chicken; Fried Fish Platters, Sandwiches, Tasty Sides And Fries.
· Street Food Philly – All different street foods with global influences. Truffle Parm and Sea Salt Fries, Local Dry Aged Burger and Meatball Sandwiches, Citrus Chicken Pita, Chorizo Burrito Bowl, Smoked Chicken Quesadilla, Black Bean Chili with Jalapeno Corn Bread.
· Mom Pops – Ice-pops that are Vegan allergen friendly; gluten, nut and dairy free, and low calorie.
· Sugar Philly Truck – High-end desserts served street side. Yummy Macaroons, Cheesecake, Crème Brulée, Tarts and more.
More food options are only a few feet away and up the steps at Michael Schulson’s Independence Beer Garden. Rotisserie chicken, Mahi Mahi tacos, Beer Battered Fish and Chips, and more are served with craft beers pouring from 19 draft lines.
Fun for all ages will expand this year to include live music, performance art, art lessons, games, and more. Select highlights include:
· Live Music – BridgetSet Sound from South Street Headhouse District will coordinate sound and stage both days. Musicians slated to play are Nik Greeley (Saturday, 11:00am to 4:00pm) and Ken Beasley (Sunday, 12:00pm to 3:00pm).
· Performance Art – Strolling circus artists will dazzle with stilt and juggling performances. (Saturday, 10:30am to 12:30pm; Sunday, 12:00pm to 1:00pm)
· Children’s Art Lessons – Young Rembrandts will inspire the next generation of artists and makers with free art lessons both days. Teachers provide materials. (Saturday, 10:00am to 4:00pm; Sunday, 11:00am to 3:00pm)
· Sidewalk Chalk Drawing – Show off your artistic side by helping us create sidewalk art with Historic Philly in the Springtime as your inspiration. (Show hours, both days)
· Patriotic Balloon Pop – Win prizes by popping the red, white and blue balloons during this classic fair game. Prizes will include CRAFT PHILA Pins, Visit Philadelphia teddy bears, PHL totes and more. Free. (Saturday, 12:00pm and 2:00pm and 4:00pm; Sunday, 11:00am and 1:00pm and 3:00pm)
· Selfie Station – Souvenir your time in historic Philadelphia with selfies using patriotic props, taken in front of three creative backdrops conceived by festival organizers. Free. (Show hours, both days)
· The Chocolate Clinic – Enjoy chocolate, community and connection with this curated collection of regionally-made chocolates. (Sunday, 10:00am to 5:00pm)
While enjoying the festivities, be on the look for the special fair mascot MAX, who is inspired from the nearby ‘Dream Garden’ glass mosaic handcrafted by Tiffany artisans.
ABOUT THE PRODUCERS
CRAFT PHILA founders and producers are artists Leslie Manas and Jean Huffenus, metalsmith-bijoutier. Together as Jean Designs Studio on Jewelers Row since 1985, their fine jewelry collections are made in gold and sterling silver. They specialize in handcrafted scent, picture, and memorial lockets, and limited edition jewels set with Cylettes®. Their symbolic-motif designs include Mère et Enfant, Om Adornment, and Jean’s signature Chai-Heart® design that traveled to space aboard the Shuttle Endeavour.
The husband and wife team (who met in a mirror’s reflection) have been pro bono mentors to aspiring metalsmiths from the University of the Arts since founding their workshop. The collaborating duo are longtime craft show exhibitors who have shown their jewelry at hundreds of arts events nationwide, including Philadelphia Museum of Art, American Craft Council, and American Made Shows.
Jean is an award-winning master jeweler who trained at the Ecole du Louvre, Paris. He perfected his craft in Paris, fabricating opulent commissioned pieces; and in Geneva, where he engineered bracelet prototypes for the Swiss watch industry.
Philadelphia native Leslie Manas (above with Marilyn Russell of BenFM) is CRAFT’s driving force and the creator of its concept and mascot that ties the show to the nearby Tiffany mosaic, housed at 6th and Walnut Streets, which recalls the beginning of the American Arts and Crafts Movement. In addition to being an arts entrepreneur, graphics and jewelry designer, the former educator and Francophile is the author of the illustrated and celebrity-acclaimed book Yiddish for Everyone.
The green-thumb couple lives in a garden home near Navel Square.