The 23rd annual Florida CraftArt Festival will be looking different this year. Instead of the usual bustling festival full of over 100 fine craft artists and vendors that attracts over 12,000 visitors, this year’s event will be held outdoors at a smaller scale due to the pandemic.
CraftArt with a Twist will be hosted by Florida CraftArt Gallery at 501 Central Avenue in downtown St. Petersburg on two separate Saturdays – one preceding and one following the Thanksgiving holiday – to kick off the holiday shopping season.
36 artists were selected by festival Jurors and on each Saturday, 18 artists will display and sell their work directly across the street from the gallery and in the parking lot of Regions Bank across the street. Featured artists include Creative Pinellas Professional Artist Fellow Javier Dones and 2020 SHINE Festival muralist Nneka Jones.
“It ‘takes a village’ to stage our annual two-day festival, and this year, that village was adversely affected by Covid,” says Tyler Jones, board president of Florida CraftArt. “However, as our mission is to help fine craft artists, we were determined to not let our artists down, and ultimately found the way forward with creating the smaller event we are calling CraftArt With a Twist.”
Changing the lineup of featured artists on each of the two dates gives visitors the opportunity for a new experience both Saturdays and provides artists with community exposure. Artists participating in the festival receive 100% of their sales revenue during the event and Florida CraftArt is not charging artists a booth fee this year in an effort to help support local artists through 2020.
With the support of the DMG School Project, “emerging artists” who have never participated in a major show or festival will be showcased at the event alongside nationally-recognized craft artists. Six emerging artists will be representing mixed media, fiber, jewelry, ceramics, metal, sculpture and glass. Florida CraftArt‘s Emerging Artist Program provides up-and-coming artists participating in CraftArt with a Twist with supplies and mentorship.
Florida CraftArt is a statewide nonprofit based in St. Petersburg dedicated to exhibiting and promoting fine craft artists, nurturing emerging artists, elevating fine craft art as a recognized economic generator in Florida and providing high-quality exhibits and programming for the community. It is the only statewide organization in Florida offering fine craft artists the opportunity to showcase and sell their creations in a popular gallery setting frequented by tourists and art lovers alike.
Florida CraftArt’s gallery showcases over 250 local artists and provides curated shows and educational programming to the community. You can find a virtual tour here. The 2,500-square-foot building is also home to ArtLofts, containing 20 artists’ studios and a meeting room called the Creative Loft.
Admission to the Florida CraftArt event and gallery is free. Festival dates are November 21 from 10 am to 5 pm, and December 5 from 10 am to 5 pm.
Florida CraftArt gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. A Zoom opening of the gallery’s Holiday Boutique will be held November 19 starting at 5:45 pm.
Florida CraftArt asks that masks be worn at the event and in the gallery.