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Academy Art Museum Craft Show Breaks Its Fund-raising Record

Written on:November 2, 2017
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Academy Art Museum
EASTON, MD-November, 2017

The Academy Art Museum in Easton, MD recently announced that its 2017 Academy Craft Show–Fired Up! brought thousands of people and more than $165,000 to the Museum, far surpassing all previous Craft Show records for attendance and community fund-raising. More than 50 local businesses and dozens of private citizens sponsored over 70 artists and the Craft Show events. Thousands more bought admission tickets and participated in the raffle of high-end craft art works donated by Show artists.

“The 20th Anniversary Show demonstrates the tremendous support from every part of our community for their Museum, which serves as the hub of the arts on the Eastern Shore,” said Ben Simons, Director of the Academy Art Museum. “It shows how much of a destination museum we are for people from surrounding cities as well. The proceeds from the Craft Show support mission-critical Museum programs like ArtReach, our free educational outreach program for thousands of school children in the Mid-Shore’s five counties.”

“Thanks to community generosity like this,” Simons said, “we can offer so much to the community, from world-class exhibitions to art classes for all ages. If you love the arts, or you would like to love the arts,” Simons added, “please know, the Museum is here for you.”

Simons praised Holly Fine of Easton for the Show’s success on every level. Fine is a Museum Trustee and an artist who spent a year coordinating volunteers and Museum staff on all Show operations and the art itself. Simons explained, “There is nothing but admiration and thanks for and to Holly Fine. The juried Academy Craft Show has grown significantly in quality and importance to the art world, and that is due to the leadership of Holly Fine and her team.”

Governor Larry Hogan congratulated the Craft Show on its 20th anniversary in an Official Citation hand-delivered at the Opening Party on Friday to Fine, Simons, and Museum Board Chair Catherine McCoy by Senator Addie Eckardt (R) and Delegate Johnny Mautz (R) who also brought citations praising the Craft Show from the Maryland Senate and House of Delegates.

The Academy Craft Show Awards are highly valued by the professional artists from 18 states, from Oregon to Maryland, who merited invitation into this show. Bennett Bean, the Show’s Honorary Chair and celebrated and acclaimed master artist, was presented with the 2017 “Visionary Artist Award” at the Craft Show Opening Party. His one-man exhibition will be on display at the Museum through November 5, 2017.

Four of the five competitive juried awards for 2017 Academy Craft Show – Fired Up! went to nationally-acclaimed artists exhibiting in Easton for the first time: Porcelain ceramicist Cliff Lee of Pennsylvania won Best Body of Work, 1st Place; Porcelain sculptor Scott Causey of Florida and jeweler Susan Mahlstedt of Missouri tied for Best Body of Work, 2nd Place; Best Booth Design went to precision watchmaker Geoffrey Roth of Arizona. Best Piece in Show went to ceramicist Robert Hessler of New York who had won Best Body of Work at the 2015 Craft Show.

The 2018 Academy Craft Show will be held from October 19 to 21, 2018. The theme, DAZZLED!, will feature artistic jewelry. Simons and Fine added that the Craft Show’s dedicated website, AcademyCraftShow.com, will stay active as a Museum resource for the growing field of fine-art crafts.

Photo: Four of the five competitive juried awards for 2017 Academy Craft Show – Fired Up! went to nationally-acclaimed artists exhibiting in Easton for the first time. Pictured top row, left to right, are Ben Simons, Director of the Academy Art Museum; Bennett Bean, Visionary Artist Award for the 2017 Academy Craft Show; and porcelain sculptor Causey, Second Place Winner for Best Body of Work. Pictured bottom row, left to right, are ceramicist Robert Hessler, Best Individual Piece and one of the Show’s Featured Artists; jeweler Susan Mahlstedt, Second Place for Best Body of Work; porcelain ceramicist Cliff Lee, First Place for Best Body of Work; Mary-Ann Milligan, Owner of Ben Franklin Crafts and Framing Center and sponsor of the Academy Craft Show Awards; watchmaker Geoffrey Roth, Best Booth Design; and Holly Fine, 2017 Academy Craft Show Chair. In the background are models from ManneqART, an international arts and education non-profit that inspires creativity, teaches problem solving skills, and rewards excellence in Sculpture on the Human Form. They walked around the Craft Show to share with patrons Wearable Art.

Four of the five competitive juried awards for 2017 Academy Craft Show – Fired Up! went to nationally-acclaimed artists exhibiting in Easton for the first time. Pictured top row, left to right, are Ben Simons, Director of the Academy Art Museum; Bennett Bean, Visionary Artist Award for the 2017 Academy Craft Show; and porcelain sculptor Causey, Second Place Winner for Best Body of Work. Pictured bottom row, left to right, are ceramicist Robert Hessler, Best Individual Piece and one of the Show’s Featured Artists; jeweler Susan Mahlstedt, Second Place for Best Body of Work; porcelain ceramicist Cliff Lee, First Place for Best Body of Work; Mary-Ann Milligan, Owner of Ben Franklin Crafts and Framing Center and sponsor of the Academy Craft Show Awards; watchmaker Geoffrey Roth, Best Booth Design; and Holly Fine, 2017 Academy Craft Show Chair. In the background are models from ManneqART, an international arts and education non-profit that inspires creativity, teaches problem solving skills, and rewards excellence in Sculpture on the Human Form. They walked around the Craft Show to share with patrons Wearable Art. – Contributed Photo

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