Bruce Museum plans outdoor crafts fest

Explore artisanal crafts from across the country at the Bruce Museum’s 29th Annual Outdoor Crafts Festival on Saturday and Sunday, May 17 and 18, rain or shine, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

A strictly juried show drawing more than 70 artisans from the U.S. and Canada, the event features original hand-made fine crafts available for purchase. Visitors can browse among wearables that range from summer casuals to tailored hand-painted silk outfits. There will be jewelry and accessories including handbags and belts. There will also be a wide array of products available for the home and kitchen, from flatware to fine furniture.

“What makes outdoor festivals so special,” said festival director Sue Brown Gordon, in a press release, “is the fact that the artists themselves are present in their booths and happy to discuss, and in some cases demonstrate, their creative processes and working techniques. Most artists will also work with clients on custom orders.”

During the festival, the artists will compete for prizes in each major craft category, including ceramics, jewelry, wood, wearable and decorative fiber, metalwork, leather, paper arts and glass. This year’s judges are Karen Ford, a ceramic and fiber artist and instructor from Westport and Marilyn Richeda, a ceramic sculptor with more than 30 years of experience in the United States and the United Kingdom.

The festival also includes hands-on craft activities for children from noon to 4 p.m. both days, international cuisine and live musical performances.  Local guitarist Bern McWain will perform on Saturday, May 17, from noon to 4 p.m.

Remember September, an indie rock band that has performed with a variety of national artists including Train, OAR, Phillip Phillips and Derek Trucks, will take the stage on Sunday, May 18, from noon to 4 p.m. Guitarist Ed Wright of Norwalk will perform both days, as will classical guitarist Annalisa Ewald, also of Norwalk.

There will be a variety of food offerings, including an exclusive Thai menu presented by Thai Taste. Wendy’s Weenies will supply American fare including hamburgers and hot dogs, and Lobstercraft, a gourmet food truck will serve delicious lobster rolls.

Admission is free for Bruce Museum members, $8 for non-members, and free for children under five.

The entrance fee includes festival activities and admission to all current Museum exhibitions, including Pasture to Pond: Connecticut Impressionism, Tales of Two Cities: New York & Beijing, Extreme Habitats: Into the Deep Sea and Ed Clark: American Photojournalist, in addition to the Museum’s permanent environmental history exhibition.

The museum is open to the public during all festival hours. Visitors will have the opportunity to join the Bruce Museum on site for free admission and instant discounts both at the Festival and in the Museum Store.

The Bruce Museum is located at One Museum Drive. Visitors are asked to park on Museum Drive and Steamboat Road or in the Island Beach Parking lot near Exit 3 off I-95.

For information, visit Brucemuseum.org or call 203-869-0376.

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