Crafts as art showcased at Westport Historical Society sale
Published 8:16 am, Sunday, November 17, 2013
It's beginning to look a lot like ... well, holiday crafts season.
The Westport Historical Society ushered in the season with high style and unique flair with its annual weekend-long annual Gem of a Craft Show.
The event, featuring handmade work by 16 craftsmen, is a key fundraiser, generating 15 percent from overall sales to support historical society programs.
WHS publicist Barbara Brauner noted for the record that the sale, the sixth annual, showcased local artists with unique wares. "Their creativity is a great lure for community residents who may not be aware of the society's programming, gallery exhibits and tours," Brauner said.
"People shopping on Main Street are wandering over to check us out," she said, in part because of some eye-popping copper weather vanes and cupolas being displayed on the historical society's front lawn by Rolling Thunder Home Accents. "Passersby are always surprised at what we have going on here."
Event organizer Lisa Shufro emphasized that all crafts were handmade. "We insist on that aspect, and that nothing be mass produced," she said.
Shufro added that this year's event is the largest organized by the WHS. "I'm thrilled for the good turnout and there are many great gift ideas for the holidays that you can pick up in a one-stop setting," she said.
Linda Dohanos, granddaughter of artist Stevan Dohanos, was among the artisans showing their work. Her forte is stoneware animal ornaments while her grandfather Stevan, whose work is currently featured at the WHS in a retrospective exhibit, was renowned for Americana illustrations.
"I love this event," said Linda Dohanos. "It showcases a nice array of different talents in a beautiful historic space. And it's neat that my grandfather's work is not only displayed here, but featured in its permanent art collection. He lived in Westport for over 70 years. I've lived here my whole life, graduating from Staples High School."
Other artisans showing their work included Lu Oliveira's "upcycled" jewelry; Jennifer Harkey's recycled glass ornaments; holiday wreaths made from music sheets; Ami Nyitray's jewelry items made from antique ephemera; Upasna Chhabra's functional home decor art, and even funny little plants that live in wine corks from Kim Charles and her Cider Mill Designs.
The 6th annual Gem of a Crafts Show continues Sunday, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., at the Westport Historical Society, 25 Avery Place. For more information, call 203-222-1424 or visit www.WestportHistory.org