Artisan Festival set for Oct. 9 at BBVFC


The third annual Artisan Festival will be held at the Bethany Beach Volunteer Fire Company on Oct. 9, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The show will feature approximately 30 local and regional artists and their creations – everything from jewelry, pottery, watercolors, oils, refinished furniture, sea glass, wooden toys and bath products to folk art, floral design, knitting, clothing, recycled art, painted glass and photography.

The local artists and artists’ collectives participating in the show include Dawn Pierro, Paula Howard, Gallery One, the Bethany Beach Watercolor Society, Kathy Buschi, Lea Wharton (daughter of Bethany Beach’s legendary Shorty Slagle, of Shorty’s Shop) and Shelby Foxwell.

Foxwell was born and raised locally, and attended local schools, including Lord Baltimore Elementary School and Indian River High School. She started creating sterling silver and wire/metal wearable art a few years back and now does business as Sundown Bead Designs. This is Foxwell’s second year at the BBVFC Artisan’s Fair, and she will also participate the SouthEastern Delaware Artists Studio Tour (SEDAST) in November.

After being introduced to beading on a family vacation, she started to take classes and ventured out from stringing to her current wire work.

Foxwell is just the type of local artisan the Bethany Beach Volunteer Fire Company Auxiliary – which hosts the Artisan’s Fair – wanted to showcase.

“I was inspired by another artist event and decided that this would be a good fundraiser and a good opportunity to bring the area’s talent together under one roof,” explained Kristen Steele, fundraising chairperson for the auxiliary and one of its officers.

“Local artists put the individualism back in individual. Touching hand-woven fabrics and hand-spun pottery enlightens the senses,” said Steele.

Proceeds from the event’s food court, and book and T-shirts sales, will benefit the Bethany Beach Volunteer Fire Company.

Steele added that the event serves as a good shopping opportunity, too, with the holidays just around the corner, and although it might seem easy to drive to a chain store or a big-box store, customers don’t get the same experience they do when patronizing local artisans.

“Shopping in ‘big box’ stores keeps large corporations in business and doesn’t provide the same shopping opportunities that a gallery or owner-operated business does. It’s easy to drive to Wal-mart and to the mall to purchase gifts for the special people in your life, but what fun is that?”

The event is an indoor/outdoor event held at the fire hall, rain or shine. Admission and parking are free.