Crafts and Fine Art Festival celebrates 25 years of connecting artists and art enthusiasts

This year, the Haddonfield Crafts and Fine Art Festival celebrates its twenty-fifth year in Downtown Haddonfield with the two-day festival taking over Kings Highway on Saturday, July 8 and Sunday July 9.

More than 100,000 artists and art lovers alike converge on Haddonfield each July. This year, the Haddonfield Crafts and Fine Art Festival celebrates its 25th year in downtown Haddonfield with the two-day festival taking over Kings Highway on Saturday, July 8 and Sunday July 9.

Festival director Marcy Boroff said she thinks the festival has had staying power, in part, because it offers art enthusiasts a unique chance to talk to artists about their work one-on-one. She said people don’t often get to meet the artist behind the work they buy. At the Crafts and Fine Art Festival, on the other hand, art enthusiasts get to see the work and ask questions.

“It’s an opportunity to meet an artist and find out about their creative process,” Boroff said.

Planning for the festival begins well more than a year in advance. Every fall, Boroff gets to work promoting the festival to artists, so they have the widest jury of art to pull from.

Boroff said artists apply to sell their pieces at the festival each year, and a committee reviews artists’ statements and submissions narrowing the festival to 250 of the most talented artists.

The committee seeks artist variety each year, Boroff said. While some years, for instance, they may have a strong pool of potters, the committee caps the number of potters so festival goers are exposed to a variety of art.

Artist Thomas Snyder, a photographer and jewelry crafter, said he’s attended craft festivals before, but this will be his first year at Haddonfield’s. Snyder specializes in crafting jewelry from exotic woods — a technique that is completely different than most jewelers, he said. Snyder will sell his Franic Merion Designs jewelry, and he said he enjoys attending craft festivals because he gets to discuss his work with shoppers.

“It’s affordable, sculptural artwork that you can wear,” Snyder said of his work.

Boroff said among the artist community, word-of-mouth has sustained interest and continues to attract fresh, new artists to the festival each year. She said one of the most incredible experiences for her in directing the festival is some artists have been with the festival since the beginning and continue to come back each year.

Haddonfield’s close proximity to Philadelphia combined with its historic, tree-lined streets and restaurants makes the festival a destination weekend for art enthusiasts, Boroff said.

Out of 52 weeks of the year, Boroff spends 49 working on the Haddonfield festival, and she said she is already thinking about 2018’s Crafts and Fine Art Festival. This year, Boroff said she she has brought new artists, local food trucks and music, which she hopes will add up to a party of sorts.

“We’re just celebrating 25, wonderful years,” Boroff said.

The Haddonfield Crafts and Fine Art Festival will be held on Saturday, July 8 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday, July 9 from noon to 5 p.m. rain or shine. The artists’ booths will be along Kings Highway and Tanner Street.

For more information and updates about the festival, visit http://www.downtownhaddonfield.com/events-entries/2017-arts-crafts-festival.