46th Annual Renaissance ArtsFaire
November 4 – 5, 2017
Saturday: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.; Sunday 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Renaissance ArtsFaire offers plenty of shopping opportunities
The 46th Annual Doña Ana Arts Council Renaissance ArtsFaire is a multi-faceted event, providing the opportunity to dress up and live in another age while also enjoying entertainment fit for a king (or queen), dining on delicious foods while supporting local non-profit organizations, and shopping from artists and craftspeople from around the region and across the country. About 75 vendors will offer their wares during the ArtsFaire, plus some young artists who will be able to sell their work in the Children’s Realm.
Many people visit RenFaire solely for the beautiful arts and crafts that are available from artists who have come for years as well as first-time attendees. Of course, those who really love the Renaissance theme may be shopping to find just the perfect piece to add to their costume. These people will want to stop by the booth of Joy Johnson of Arkansas, for one, to check out the plain and painted wood toy swords, axes, bowls, katanas, scimitars, as well as other fantasy weapons and shields. Another booth to visit is that of Steven Archote, also of Arkansas, who uses hardwoods to sculpt beautiful art you can play with, such as long swords, elven knives with holder and belt, crossbows, and dagger holders. Jesse Grabowski and Joseph Smith of Denver will also be able to outfit those who want to develop their own Renaissance costumes, offering items made of leather such as a waist cincher, dragon bracers, elven ranger bracers, and more.
For the young faire-goer who loves to live in a fantasy world, visit Catalina Diaz of Las Cruces, who makes children’s items including tutus, fairy tale dresses, wings, wands, crowns, hair accessories, caps, and more using a mix of materials including fabric, wire and beads. Also making special children’s dress-up clothes such as capes, cloaks, fair skirt, and hats, is Roy Messenger of Albuquerque.
You may be looking for wearable art for throughout the year. With 13 vendors in this category, there will be a wealth of beautiful jewelry in all price ranges available to bedeck the royalty in your life. Angie Spady and Kim Gaines of Taos will be there, with a special connection to this world, as Spady is a former art history teacher whose specialty was Renaissance art. They create unique and elegant jewelry using exotic woods, stained resin and 14K gold leaf and sterling silver. Each piece is hand carved and then suspended on supple leather in varying colors.
Anat Perez of Israel is a fourth generation jeweler and says, “It’s really the place I feel most a home, between the gold, the hammers, and the smell of childhood memories. Now I take all these, mixing them well, the ancient techniques that go from generation to generation with modern tools, combining the old and the new, blending from the new old, East and West, sparkling and raw, making from them a jewelry that time cannot touch.”
Jamie Jett and Mary Ancker of Albuquerque will also have their jewelry at the faire. Jett was classically trained from the Rhode Island School of Design, and with her partner, Mary Ancker, they create one-of-a-kind, bold-statement jewelry combining mostly rare vintage crystal, brass, Bakelite, celluloid beads, and buttons. The results of the unique combination of materials are visually captivating, whimsical, and exquisite wearable art adornment.
Lyra Fiset of Taos says, “I make every piece of jewelry by hand using natural gemstone beads and precious metals. With my background as a silversmith for the past 20 years, I fabricate many of my findings and pendants to integrate into my designing making them unique and one of a kind.”
Perhaps you are looking for something decorative or functional for your home or yard. There will be 11 vendors in the metal and wood sculpture category offering their art. For example, John Harris of Mesilla crafts yard art and sculptures hand-cut from steel with brass and copper trim. New and up-cycled materials are used. Some of his sculptures show a Native American inspiration. Danny Kim of Los Angeles makes handcrafted maple wood items such as fruit bowls, wine glass holders, and wine bottle holders. The wood is cut, chiseled, smoothed and polished to create the final form. David and Carolyn Levy of California create fun and functional wooden pieces. Exotic and domestic woods are laminated to create unique objects of artwork made to withstand the different climates found throughout the world. Their pieces include Backgammon sets, game tables, cutting boards, and puzzle tables.
Mixed media arts will also be represented, including painters, watercolor artists, and more. Michelle Barnhart of Nevada uses materials found in nature to create images, such as grasses, weeds, bark, flowers, and leaves. In some works, natural materials are arranged to create unique works by placing them directly over clear plates of glass. She also builds her own frames. Elizabeth Schydlower of El Paso uses polymer clay to create cabinet knobs and pulls, as well as ceiling fan pulls, wine bottle stoppers and ballpoint pens. Thomas Leiblein of Bosque Farms, New Mexico, handicrafts whimsical figurines sculpted in clay, then poured in pewter, with silver color or 24K gold plating. Sally Quillin of Las Cruces uses acrylics on canvas to paint a wide range of landscapes, botanicals, and other subjects.
Fiber artists will include David and Molly Crawford of Colorado who craft tapestry purses and bags designed using original patterns in addition to popular and comfortable hanging chairs. Michele Woodward of Arkansas makes hand-crafted hats and women’s accessories in a variety of techniques such as crocheting, knitting, and sewing. A true Renaissance woman, she also makes leather pouches, belts, and hand-cast or forged metal pieces. She is also a Tarot card reader.
That’s not all! In the Mind and Body category, five booths will offer massage, henna body art, face painting, henna temporary tattoos, or airbrush temporary tattoos. There will be pottery and glass artists and photographers as well. In the Products of the Southwest category, 13 vendors will be there with delicious foods and hand-crafted items for your body. Gloria Blair of Las Cruces makes Balsamic vinegars, oils, and pastas. Nancy Coonridge of Pie Town will be there with goat cheese made with milk from her own goats. Enendina Flores of Mesilla will offer nut brittle, pecan praline, and chocolate-covered strawberries. Lisa Crowder of Santa Clara, New Mexico, creates soaps and candles, as well as jewelry with local stones, yarns, mineral pigments, materials which are ethically harvested from the Gila Wilderness. Ariel Ely of Las Cruces makes cold-process soap, hand-made lotions, bath bombs, and body scrubs.
Avoid parking at Young Park by taking advantage of a free park and ride, the Royal Carriage, running between the southwest corner of the Mesilla Valley Mall and Young Park. There is limited parking onsite at the park and parking volunteers will be there maintaining order in their appointed realm.
The 46th Annual Renaissance ArtsFaire takes place Saturday and Sunday, November 4 and 5, at Young Park, 1905 Nevada St., Las Cruces.
Cost for the event is $10 per person and children 12 and under are free. Advance tickets are two for $15 and available on- line or at all Pic Quik locations through November 3.
Make the weekend even more special by purchasing a VIP package: $60 includes all-access passes for two people, access to the VIP area at the Dragon’s Eye Tavern with refreshments and up-front views of the main stage, plus a special area to watch jousting, preferred parking for one vehicle, and two vintage Ren Faire T-shirts. A VIP pass for one person is $35.
Tickets and more information can be found by visiting the Doña Ana Arts Council office at 1740 Calle de Mercado, Suite B-D, in Mesilla, online at www.daarts.org or by calling (575) 523-6403.