Unison Holiday Crafts Fair in New Paltz

Ceramic platter by Gardiner artist Annie O’Neill

More than 50 local artisans will bring a wide range of high-quality handmade crafts to the Unison Arts and Learning Center’s 22nd annual Holiday Crafts Fair on Saturday and Sunday, December 1 and 2 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Fair will be held in the gymnasium at the centrally located New Paltz Middle School at the corner of Main Street (Route 299) and Manheim Boulevard (Route 32 South). Adult admission of $3 includes a craft raffle ticket, and those under age 16 are admitted free.

“It’s a really warm, wonderful show every year,” says Helene Bigley, one of the founders of Unison. “It’s something we love to do, and everybody enjoys coming to it and being there.”

The Holiday Crafts Fair is a juried show, with gallery-quality handcrafted gift items including ceramics, jewelry, sculpture, works in leather, fiber, baskets, glass, clocks, furniture, paintings, cards, body products, wreaths, heirloom seeds and more. A sampling of participating artists includes Sharyn Alexander from Saugerties, who creates ceramic wall hangings, Gardiner artist Annie O’Neill’s ceramic platters, and Ken Greene of the Hudson Valley Seed Library, who will offer heirloom seeds from his farm in Accord packaged in beautiful “art packs.”

Jeweler Connie Verrusio of Highland often uses bits and pieces of mechanical detritus to create modern designs in silver. Clark Peaslee of New Paltz works in wood, creating fine furniture and small objects, and Elissa Cimino of Gardiner does wreaths and all sorts of naturecraft with fresh-cut flowers and herbs. “It’s a one-of-a-kind chance to get to know and observe the breadth of local talent,” says Bigley.

Hungry fairgoers can partake of Japanese food from Gomen Kudasai of New Paltz, and organic baked goods along with coffee and tea will be available as well.

The Unison Arts and Learning Center is a nonprofit arts organization founded in 1975, located at the foot of the Shawangunk Mountains in New Paltz. Unison offers ongoing workshops in the visual arts, performance and personal growth arenas, and presents performances and gallery exhibitions throughout the year.

Unison’s 22nd annual Holiday Crafts Fair, Saturday-Sunday, December 1-2, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., $3, under age 16 free, New Paltz Middle School, Main Street/Manheim Boulevard; (845) 255-1559, https://unisonarts.org.

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