Tag Archives: AmeriCU Syracuse Arts & Crafts Festival

The A & C

The AmeriCU Syracuse Arts & Crafts Festival has returned to Columbus Circle and surrounding roads in Syracuse, NY. It began on Friday and continues tomorrow from 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM.

Here is a sampling of the artisans represented this year. I was there today and mainly walked through the circle and down Montgomery Street.

Susan Shannon is a potter from Vermont. She had an incredibly cohesive display. All of her porcelain ceramics are handmade on the potter’s wheel – no molds! She said there is a beauty to the zen of creating a familiar shape and it never gets boring. The glaze is a type of high fire stain and the colors are wonderfully rich. This is the type of functional art that must be purchased in multiples.

It is all microwaveable and dishwasher safe. Really great! She is located in front of the church on the circle.

Her website is suchipottery.com. For more information call (970) 529-3029.

Charlie Sam has really upped his game since I first met him several years ago. Again, the word is cohesive. He creates these original graphic characters and represents them on T-shirts, sweatshirts, glassware, mugs and buttons.

He is from Syracuse. His booth is on Montgomery Street. Find him on Instagram and Facebook.

So great!

I enjoyed meeting the Hadfields of CH Woodcraft. Craig Hadfield creates these Americana paintings on pine. I love the flag motif! And of course, I work in “bear country”, which is what we call Chittenango. Love!

They are from Syracuse. The booth is on Montgomery Street. If you don’t make it out tomorrow, you can call (315) 558-0201. They also do custom projects.

Joelle’s Dolls are so full of whimsy. Joelle McAndrew from Lewiston, NY creates her own designs and patterns. Each doll has a backstory, which is so delightful. There is so much detail in the clothing! Everything is original.

This is another example of needing more than one. Someone should buy her whole collection.

Again, this booth is on Montgomery Street. Also find her at joellesdolls.etsy.com.

Johanna Wall is a lovely person! She is a retired teacher from Syracuse. She and her husband worked the booth today, which is located on Montgomery Street. Her collection includes jewelry and decoupage items – birdhouses, canisters, coasters and wreaths.

Call (315)382-5262 for more information.

John Oneal Heard is a man of many hats – professor, model, musician, art teacher and artist. He had a small collection of original paintings (I believe they are abstract paintings on glass mounted on canvas). He literally paints music. He said his favorite thing about meeting the public as an artist with a business is answering questions from children – it is rewarding to share his work with an audience.

Call (315) 992-3267 for more information.

And that is what this festival truly embodies – the spirit of the collective creative energies flowing through these business men and women and fusing with the community in such a joy-filled positive way. Hurray for the artists and art patrons of Syracuse, New York!

Really, really soooooo great!

Art City



I visited with four friends in their tents on Montgomery Street yesterday.  They are all participating in the AmeriCU Syracuse Arts & Crafts Festival, which continues today from 10 am – 5 pm.  The festival occupies and includes four streets around Columbus Circle in downtown Syracuse, New York.


Barbara Conte-Gaugel sells unique, handmade handbags and wallets.



John Oneal Heard (johnonealheard@gmail.com) is also a drummer.  His paintings on glass reference music.




Charlie Sam creates whimsical illustrations on T-shirts.  They are known as having a “both cute and creepy” dichotomy.




And, of course, Michelle DaRin.  I love her vibe – and feel privileged to be among her tribe. <3






While the Everson Museum of Art is celebrating fifty years in the biz with all sorts of amazing events throughout the year, the AmeriCU Syracuse Arts & Crafts Festival is clocking forty-nine.  The fest is located on and around Columbus Circle in downtown Syracuse, New York with lots of artwork, jewelry, accessories and functional pottery.  And musical performances, food trucks (Carvel Ice Cream!) and even a vagabond stilt walker or two.  The first two days are clocked out but you can stroll the event tomorrow from 10am – 5pm.



I found Peter Valenti and his wife in their prime location right on the circle. Peter is a retired public school art teacher (East Syracuse-Minoa) who has always been a working artist.  He is a member of the Independent Potters’ Association (IPA) and one of the premiere ceramists in the area.  If you don’t collect his work, you should.




Valenti creates the slabs then bisque fires them. His fabulous glazing effects are by way of raku firing.  The colors and patterning (dragonflies, ginko leaf) lend themselves well with Arts & Crafts style and yet, they have a modern flavor and would compliment any home décor. <3

For more information, contact the artist at pvalentistudios@gmail.com.













Chalk Contest

Each year the AmeriCU Syracuse Arts & Crafts Festival holds a chalk drawing contest on the sidewalk, sponsored by the Syracuse New Times.


My work colleague and friend Gina Fargnoli took 2nd place this year!  Congratulations, Gina!


Gina loves turtles, so it is no surprise that she chose one as her iconography for her pastel work.

Gina 3

Gina was a long term substitute in art in our district last year.  She taught at the middle school for the first semester of the school year.  She will be working as a full-time high school art teacher this year, teaching Photography and Computer Graphics!  Chittenango is lucky to have her.  She is amazingly talented.

Gina 4

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Here are some other pictures she took during the festival.  I think the lion drawing took top honors!

Gina 2

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Gina 5

Art & Music!


Yesterday was one of those perfect days where I accomplished everything I said I would do.  I did pilates, as well as some light housekeeping then went to my hair appointment (love you, Amanda!), hiked at Green Lakes State Park, and ended up downtown for some great art and music!

For real, lol.  I took these pictures and everything (for those of you who maybe thought I was still off my rocker chasing Pokemon).



The AmeriCU Syracuse Arts & Crafts Festival is in full swing.  I caught the tail end of it last night – the vendors will be there all day today and tomorrow until 6:00pm in Columbus Circle in downtown Syracuse, New York.  A lot of my friends/Facebook friends are there:  Michelle DaRin, Barbara Conte-Gaugel, Peter Valenti, Tim See, and Michael Heagerty, as well as dozens of artisans from around here and out of the area.





There is so much to see.  There’s clothing, jewelry and accessories, paintings, ceramics, furniture, soaps….  It is really an incredible experience.  And since working the Lavender Fest for Michelle that time, I can appreciate the dedication it takes to spend all day in a small tent in ninety-degree heat with few bathroom breaks in order to interact with customers face-to-face.





I think that is the best part of making a purchase from one of the vendors – that you get to know them and you walk away with an experience rather than just some trinket.  You experience the artist’s passion for what they do and you take with you a part of them, the part that contains a vast amount of love.



That is truly special.  I love that.










Last night’s music event in Clinton and Hanover Squares was the Northeast Jazz & Wine Festival.  More music tonight with the band Atlas taking the stage around 8:00 pm!  Hope to see you there!

Summer rocks!