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New England’s Largest Fine Art and Craft Show


Annual Christmas Festival, a festive holiday tradition, heralds in the season Friday, Saturday and Sunday, November 2, 3 and 4, at Boston’s Seaport World Trade Center with the largest fine art and craft show in New England. Featuring the work of over 300 of the nation’s most acclaimed artists and master craftsmen, the Christmas Festival promises a shopping treasure trove of one-of-a-kind gifts, designer fashions, fine jewelry, gourmet treats, holiday décor and more. A unique aspect of the event is the rare opportunity it offers festival-goers to meet the artisans, discuss their work and commission custom pieces destined to become tomorrow’s heirlooms.  

A popular highlight is the Gingerbread House Competition, where celebrated chefs from area restaurants, bakeries and culinary schools create gingerbread masterpieces to be judged by a celebrity panel and sold. All proceeds benefit Rosie’s Place, dedicated to providing a safe and nurturing environment for poor and homeless women.

The fine arts are always well represented, and this year’s offerings are exceptional. A sampling of the artists whose work will be on display includes Barry Olofsson (East Dennis, MA), who creates realistic oil portraits and high quality giclee prints of scenic Cape Cod; award-winning watercolorist Joy Waldman of Garden Street Studio (Cambridge, MA), known for her colorful paintings of sunny gardens, seascapes and whimsical children’s themes; and Jeff Nelson of Hudson River Inlay (New Windsor, NY), who practices the decorative art of marquetry using fine woods, luminous shells and rich minerals to handcraft distinctive furniture, mirrors and artwork.

Art glass and hand-made pottery also tempt, combining beauty with functionality. Second generation glassblower Gabriel Cole’s (Williamstown, VT) bowls, goblets and vases blend sculptural shapes with bold colors, while Lesley Reich of Pottery Mountain (Mount Tremper, NY) inspires with uplifting messages hand-lettered on porcelain vessels.

Unusual items to match every taste and interest abound. Collectors will delight in Elizabeth Curry’s (Toms River, NJ) finely crafted, hand-painted porcelain dolls; and captivating folk art by Marcia and Bill Finks of Primitive Twig (New York, NY), made using found objects. Ergonomically designed leashes and signature canine treats from Annie’s Pooch Pops (Columbia, NJ) will please animal lovers. Also irresistible are Asian-inspired note cards handmade from embossed paper by Chong and Judi Lim of Island Designs (Scarborough, ME) and brain teasers from the Puzzle Craft Factory (Hudson, MA).

Stylish apparel and accessories, from wearable textile art to designer leather goods, will delight fashion aficionados. Offerings range from graphic tees produced by the artist collective Parable Ink (Brooklyn, NY), to eco-friendly, natural fiber garb from the Mindau Collection (Boxborough, MA), to retro-chic fringed silk and velvet shawls by Lisa Labnon (N. Conway, NH). Perfect for winter are cozy sheepskin slippers and mittens from the Merry Trading Company (Topsfield, MA) and multi-patterned socks (a favorite of Whoopi Goldberg) from Marianne Wakerlin of Solmate Socks (S. Strafford, VT). Albano Handbags’ (Havertown, PA) stunning leather totes add instant panache.

In addition to fine classic and contemporary gold and silver jewelry, many artisans offer the truly unique. Consider the miniature books crafted into fanciful brooches and necklaces by Raelinda Woad of Storyteller Jewelry (Somerville, MA); intricately woven beadwork by Linda Shea (New Boston, NH); and empowering gemstone creations by Reiki healing master Kathryn McKinnon of Daikomyo (Marblehead, MA).

The wide array of seasonal decorating items and holiday treats make entertaining a breeze. Add cheer with heirloom-quality brocade and tapestry stockings, folk art Santas, lush garlands, and whimsical elves crafted by Kim and Ken Patrizzi (Coventry, CT) of Gnomin Originals. The ever-popular gourmet aisle features artisan breads, fruit salsas, sumptuous dessert sauces and tasty dips perfect for entertaining. Decadent chocolate truffles, flavored hot chocolate mixes and spiced pecans are ideal stocking stuffers.

The Christmas Festival is presented by Artisan Promotions, Inc., organizers of top quality art shows since 1982.  The Christmas Festival runs November 2 - 4, 2007 at the Seaport World Trade Center, Boston. Hours are Friday, 12:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.; Saturday, 10:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.; and Sunday, 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Tickets are $12 for adults and free for children under 14. For more information about the Christmas Festival, call (617) 385-5000, or visit to print a discount coupon.

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