Library to hold first crafts fair
by Mark Andrews
Oct 05, 2011 | 1007 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The Bartow County Friends of the Library will hold its first craft fair on Oct. 29 in hopes of drawing a crowd for local artists while raising money for the library.

"What we've thought about is a lot of people in the community do arts and crafts, but don't really have an outlet for people to view them, people to buy them, and really to get their craft out for people to see," said Friends of the Library President Karen Barnhart. "So, secondarily to just raising funds for the library, [Friends of the Library] tries to do stuff that will benefit the community, and this is one of the ways we felt we could do that."

Although the library system often has local artists' work on display, this will be the first time for an actual fair.

"We've been looking at other fundraising activities," Barnhart said. "Part of [Friends of the Library's] mission is to raise money, but we also want to support our local community."

She said while the hope is to have a large turnout, there is no more room for vendors.

"We are just accepting [vendors] for the wait list in case somebody has to cancel," Barnhart said.

Barnhart said the capacity of about 20 indoor and 15 outdoor vendors was met shortly after advertising the event and providing Friends of the Library with early information on the event.

"Within 10 minutes we had seven people respond that they wanted booths," Barnhart said, "so it's been an overwhelming response."

However, she said the library has a waiting list in case an artist has to cancel.

Barnhart said examples of crafts to be on display include holiday items, hand-knit accessories, glass jewelry, origami, wooden wind chimes and clothes pin rocking chairs.

"There's really a wide variety [of crafts]," Barnhart said.

She said the intent of scheduling the fair in late October was to help people get a start on the holidays.

"With so many different crafts available right before the holidays ... [patrons] are going to be thinking about gifts for family," Barnhart said.

Local artist Cindy Stripe echoed her statements.

"I think it's a great opportunity with the timing to buy Christmas presents because you can find things you would never be able to find at the store and are unique for people that are hard to buy for, and it's also just a great way to support the library, which I think is a great thing," she said.

Her work can be seen at www.lunatique.weebly.com and she said she will have available, for example, jewelry, 2-feet-tall handcrafted lighted Christmas trees, shadowboxes and fan pulls.

"I just did [the Arts Festival] at Rose Lawn two weeks ago, so I do have some things leftover from that, but basically I work on jewelry every day, so there will be lots of new things for [the craft fair]," she said.

Barnhart said all proceeds from booth reservations will go to Friends of the Library.

"Those funds are what we use to buy books, media and programming for the library. In this era of budget cuts and what not, the monies we raise are better than ever before," Barnhart said. "Anyone who has been to our library or has used it or been part of the program know we're fortunate to have such a robust library and if they come out and support the crafts people, then we'll be able to continue to have crafts fairs and we'll be able to continue to have another way to generate money for the library system."