NEWFANE — Several members of the Rock River Artists (RRA) collective will be joined by a few peers in a safe art/craft festival on the Newfane Common Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 10 and 11, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Having had to cancel RRA's 28th annual Open Studio tour due to COVID-19, many group creators find themselves eager and ready to reconnect with the public - newcomers and regular followers alike.
On Indigenous Peoples' Day weekend, 10 artists and craftspeople will be in Newfane at safely-distanced booths in front of the town's historic Gothic Revival courthouse.
Rock River Artists is a collective of 17 professional artists working in a variety of fine art and craft media.
At the event, visitors can find and purchase functional pottery by Diane Echlin, photography by Christine Triebert, raku pottery by Richard Foye, marquetry and inlay by T. Breeze Verdant, functional pottery by Carol Ross and pottery by Matt Tell.
The artists will be joined by Iron Arts, widely known for fine handmade metalwork, and Sunmeadow Alpaca, raising alpacas in Putney to yield superior fleece.
Some among the RRA exhibitors are creating new work in anticipation of the October event.
Christine Triebert, for example, is applying photographic imagery to functional objects such as ceramic coaster tiles and handmade lampshades designs. New this fall is her collaborative line of her photographic lampshades, shades on wooden bases by Rock River Artist Chris Ericson.
Other RRA participants will be offering creations that show how they've experimented and evolved in this unprecedented time.
“I am throwing small, simple shapes using a limited glazing palette. Many of my vessels have a unique signature loop handle,” explains Carol Ross. “My graphic design background and my appreciation for directness in form, in art, and life inspire all my work.”
Marquetry/inlay artist T. Breeze Verdant is in his 32nd year of refining his craft as a maker of “earthy, but chic” jewelry using materials ranging from low places such as outhouse seats and ocean floors to materials from higher terrain, such as mountaintop twigs and barn lofts.
This spring has had its toll on artists and fine craftspeople - worldwide, no doubt. Yet, as visitors will see at the October event in Newfane, creative spirit and productivity in the West River Valley just might be stronger now than ever.