Its thousands of artisan products for sale ensure that there’s something for everybody. The specialty foods and health care tent, for example, will offer pastries, salsas, jams and jellies, marinades, soaps, bath oils, skin balms, special healing pillows and other wonderful gift items – the kind that you’re tempted to keep for yourself. Another particular appealing category is “architectural crafts,” which this year will include hand-forged fireplace irons, Shaker furniture made of black cherry, patchwork wall-hangings, stained-glass windows and steam-bent rockers. The fiber arts will be well-represented by the Ulster County Handspinners’ Guild, who will demonstrate spinning, weaving, rugmaking and the use of various yarn preparation tools. You can try your hand at these skills yourself, as well as purchase the Guild’s woven, knitted and crocheted items. Wandering the grounds, it’s like the clock got turned back and everyone had strayed into some marvelous pre-industrial time warp.
But not all is quaint at the fair. Psychedelic artist Isaac Abrams, who was in the forefront of the movement in the 1960s, helping form the famous CODA Gallery in New York City, where his work was shown along with that of Peter Max and other psychedelic legends, will exhibit and demonstrate his paintings. “You do not have to be a ‘60s Boomer to make an instant connection and appreciation of his work. But it helps!” noted Scott Rubinstein, co-director of the Fair. Abrams, whose work has been exhibited at the Whitney as well as at museums in Europe and Japan (closer to home, he designed the giant kaleidoscope housed in a barn silo off Route 28), is currently working in acrylics, along with making sculptures in metal and glass. He’ll be creating several new works at the Fair while sharing his inspiration and observations with the public.
Another special guest is National Geographic photographer Ted Schiffman, who will be autographing and selling his brand-new book on tree frogs. Schiffman is offering a five percent discount off his volume of gorgeous photographs, which has received kudos from reviewers and provides a fascinating glimpse of the world inhabited by these tiny and ubiquitous creatures. A children’s tent with face-painting and other activities, a comprehensive selection of fine arts, including lithography and other graphic media, performances by regional musicians and delicious comestibles round out the attractions.
The entry fee is $8 for adults and $7 for seniors; children age 12 and under get in free. The Fair is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, September 3 and 4, and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Monday, September 5. The Fairgrounds are located at 249 Libertyville Road in New Paltz. For more information, visit www.quailhollow.com.