Downtown Syracuse’s Columbus Circle will soon transform into one of New York state’s most prestigious art shows: the AmeriCU Syracuse Arts and Crafts Festival. The event runs Friday, July 28, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Saturday, July 29, and Sunday, July 30, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The three-day fest, which is celebrating its 47th year, serves as the centerpiece for the annual Arts Week event. What makes the Arts and Crafts Fest such an esteemed show is the competitive entry process for artists wanting to showcase their work.
Alice Maggiore, communications coordinator for the Downtown Committee of Syracuse, said more than 350 artists and designers submitted their work to a jury for consideration this year, while only around 165 to 170 will be awarded a spot in the show.
“The way the jury works is they are not able to see where the artists are from,” Maggiore said. “It’s strictly judging on their work or images. I don’t even think they have access to their names to clear any potential bias.”
Central New York designers aren’t the only ones who are allowed to enter. Artists from more than 25 states will be on hand, and the countries of Israel and Canada also will be represented.
A featured artistic theme will be the use of unusual materials and media. Kathleen Scranton from Connecticut will showcase her collection of purses made from used books, while Chuck and Kim Peashey from Brockport have fused musical instruments with vintage lamps to create one-of-a-kind pieces.
Other traditional artistic forms will include ceramics, glass, jewelry, wood, drawing and sculptures.
The festival isn’t limited to selling and displaying works of art, however. Returning for a second year will be the Downtown Committee’s “Forecasting the…