The boardwalk will become an art gallery when the Bethany Beach Seaside Craft Show returns for its 10th year, on Saturday, June 7. Rain or shine, around 100 artists display their best work in photography, glass, pottery, metals, woodworking, decorative painting, fiber, textiles, jewelry and other wearable art.
Each year, the Bethany Beach Cultural & Historical Affairs Committee brings new and familiar crafters to participate in this juried fine crafts show.
“People love it. Every year we have a survey that we hand out to all the crafters,” said organizer Carol Olmstead. “We get lots of positive feedback [on] how well our show is organized and how successful they are with the show.”
“I absolutely love being in that show,” affirmed Maureen Dyer Ickrath, who will display coastal photography for the eighth year.
“I just do phenomenally well,” Ickrath said. “I enjoy talking to and meeting these people as much as I enjoy selling my photography. It’s a wonderful attraction for the city. All these fabulous people come. And we get to talk. … They ask me about my photos.”
With an eye for scenes, Ickrath loves the “instant art” cameras produce. She photographs coastal Delaware but said her Irish photography is especially popular. She said she’s even recruited people to the Coastal Camera Club, encouraging their own love of art in discussions on the boardwalk.
“It can be crowded, but people are pretty polite,” said Ickrath, who has maneuvered successfully, even with a handicapped guest. “It’s a happy crowd. They’re nice.”
That could be because they’re also enjoying the nearby ocean all day.
“I’m always interested to see who’s near me,” Ickrath said. “Last year, there was an Asian-looking woman with Asian pottery. I got the opportunity to look at art all day. On the other side, there was a woman who made pocketbooks. They were so different. They were little works of art.”
“This is a juried fine art show. People do have to apply,” Olmstead said. “We don’t always accept everyone. We try to have a good mix of different kinds of crafts. … It seems to work very well.”
According to Olmstead, the show originated when a crafter approached the Town, suggesting a craft show to complement the fine arts show organized by the Bethany-Fenwick Area Chamber of Commerce on the boardwalk every fall.
Admission is free for all shoppers, but the crafters’ registration fees benefit the Cultural & Historical Affairs Committee.
“We used proceeds to for historical projects that we have in town,” Olmstead said. “We’ve recreated the museum downstairs in our lobby … and hung markers in historic homes built before 1930.”
The show runs 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. along Bethany Beach boardwalk and surrounding streets.
“Come and enjoy it. It’s a beautiful day,” Olmstead said. “All we have to depend on is a day exactly like today — not too hot and lots of sunshine.”