Ar­ti­sans Work­shop

Sunday Star - - FRONT PAGE - By LAURA WORMUTH lwor­muth@star­dem.com

— Each year, Eas­ton Mid­dle School is trans­formed into a mag­i­cal work­shop for both ex­pe­ri­enced and bud­ding artists. The school, on Peach­blos­som Road, is home to both the Ar­ti­sans Gifts and Work­shop and the chil­dren’s craft ac­tiv­i­ties area dur­ing Water­fowl Fes­ti­val week­end.

Pa­trons are in­vited to ob­serve artists hon­ing their craft, and creat­ing new and orig­i­nal pieces for sale, on site at the ex­hibit. Ar­ti­sans of all styles, from painters and sculp­tors to jew­el­ers and fur­ni­ture crafts­men, are part of the Work­shop ex­hibit. This year, about 35 artists were on hand dis­play­ing their works.

“I love this lo­ca­tion,” said Jo­ce­lyn Beatty, a wa­ter­color and acrylic painter who has been ex­hibit­ing at the Water­fowl Fes­ti­val for the past 10 years. “I get to paint, and ev­ery­one gets to see what I’m do­ing. And they come back be­cause they want to see how it’s go­ing to turn out.”

Beatty, from West Mid­dle­sex, Pa., has been at­tend­ing the Fes­ti­val for al­most 20 years and has ex­hib­ited in other Fes­ti­val gallery lo­ca­tions, as well. The self-taught artist was the first woman to win the Fed­eral Duck Stamp in 2003, and her work was cho­sen again for 2014. And even she ad­mits she’s never sure how a paint­ing is go­ing to turn out.

“It’s al­ways a good feel­ing to put the pieces to­gether,” she said. “Even though I have an idea in my head, it’s a lot of fun see­ing what it’s go­ing to turn out like.”

Sea­soned vet­er­ans re­turn to the Ar­ti­sans Work­shop year af­ter year to show off their fin­ished pieces and craft orig­i­nal work on site for pa­trons.

“Thirty-six years ago, I was in this same spot,” said Ros­alyn Leach Daisey of Ne­wark, N.J.

Daisey, who is a carver and cre­ates whim­si­cal stat­ues of wildlife like birds and mice, has been ex­hibit­ing in the Ar­ti­sans Work­shop since 1981.

The at­mos­phere not only brings back the artists, it also brings back the pa­trons. “All of the artists are won­der­ful,” said Linda Sturte­vant of New Britain, Conn., who was re­turn­ing to the Fes­ti­val for the fourth time to at­tend the week­end’s events, in­clud­ing the rap­tor demon­stra­tions, re­triever demon­stra­tions and down­town art gal­leries.

The Work­shop also serves to in­spire new artists, like Stephen Me­lady of Clay­ton, Del. At­tend­ing the Fes­ti­val for the first time with girl­friend Glo­ria D’Anzi, Me­lady said he was in­ter­ested in pos­si­bly ex­hibit­ing his solid wood bird­houses in the fu­ture.

New to the Ar­ti­sans Work­shop this year was Ed­i­ble Bird­houses, rep­re­sented by Sal­is­bury na­tives Krissie Houseal and Tara O’Barsky. Their eco­log­i­cally friendly, re­us­able bird­houses and ed­i­ble wreaths cap­ture the spirit of the new cre­ative projects that take root in the Work­shop ex­hibit.

Bud­ding artists are in­vited to tr y their hands at paint­ing and carv­ing at the chil­dren’s craft ac­tiv­i­ties, also held at the Eas­ton Mid­dle School.

Art classes for the youngest Fes­ti­val-go­ers were held through­out the week­end, in­clud­ing fun and sim­ple in­struc­tion on soap carv­ing, de­coy carv­ing and paint­ing de­coy mag­nets. Kids were pro­vided all the ma­te­ri­als to cre­ate orig­i­nal art­work.

New this year, chil­dren also were treated to a mini­hay maze in front of the school, per­fect for en­er­getic lit­tle ones and tod­dlers.

Joan and Russ Orme re­turn to the 47th an­nual Water­fowl Fes­ti­val. Joan is a lo­cal pro­fes­sional pho­tog­ra­pher, and Russ cre­ates orig­i­nal pen and ink draw­ings on wood.

PHO­TOS BY LAURA WORMUTH

Tara O’Barsky and Krissie Houseal of Sal­is­bury dis­play their ed­i­ble bird­houses at the Ar­ti­sans Gifts and Work­shop ex­hibit. This is their first year at Water­fowl Fes­ti­val.

Two-year-old Cora en­joys the mini hay maze in front of Eas­ton Mid­dle School, new to this year’s Water­fowl Fes­ti­val week­end.

Jo­ce­lyn Beatty of West Mid­dle­sex, Pa., was the first woman to win the Fed­eral Duck Stamp com­pe­ti­tion. This is her 10th year ex­hibit­ing at Water­fowl Fes­ti­val, seen here paint­ing in wa­ter­color at the Ar­ti­sans Gifts and Work­shop ex­hibit.

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