By Paul Rozycki
Living up to its name, the Flint Institute of Arts held its 14th annual First Frost Arts and Fine Crafts Fair, on Saturday and Sunday Nov. 2 and 3. As the title suggests, the event took place at about the same time as the first hard frost hit the Flint area. The event is normally held on the first weekend of November.
Though the event had been scaled down from earlier years, more than 20 artists filled the booths in Isabel Hall at the FIA, and welcomed a busy flow of shoppers on both days.
Most artists said sales were good, and that the support of the FIA Founders Society was a major reason they returned from past years. The Founders Society is one of several FIA groups that support the institute’s activities.
The artists included a number of arts and crafts, including jewelers, printmakers, metal sculptors, fiber artists, photographers, potters, and woodworkers, among others. The juried show is planned to showcase “gift-able art and fine hand-crafted items at the beginning of the holiday shopping season.”
The artists at Vicki Carpenter’s “Rosemaling” booth, who offered decorated and personalized Christmas ornaments, bowls, and wood items, said the venue, and the welcoming attitude, caused them to return to the fair after a few year’s absence.
One of the more unusual artists was Andrew Hill’s Electro Art Works. He constructs “whimsical robots” from cast-away electronic parts, scrap metal, and used appliances and, “anything else that hasn’t been used in the last five minutes.” He said his art comes from his two passions—robots and recycling.
In addition to the artists selling their wares, the event held its “Festival of Trees and Holiday Decor,” where shoppers could buy decorated Christmas trees. Also featured were a silent auction, a bake sale, and a raffle.
In addition to the First Frost Fair, the FIA offered works from the institute’s new glassmaking Hot Shop for sale to visitors. During the Fair, visitors could see demonstrations of glassblowing in the Hot Shop. The Hot Shop offers public demonstrations on most weekends.
The event is organized by the Founders Society of the FIA, and is one of the major fundraisers for the group, and is designed to support the programming and exhibitions of the FIA.
EVM staff writer and political commentator Paul Rozycki can be reached at email@example.com.