2014 Crafts on Columbus – End of an Era

CRAFTS ON COLUMBUS ART SHOW

Webster’s Dictionary defines culture as “the beliefs, customs, arts, etc., of a particular society, group, place, or time”.  New York City has its own culture while also being arguably the most culturally diverse city in the world.

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When I think of New York’s culture I think of a group of people who work hard at what they do for a living, push the limits of their respected industries whatever that is, fashion, architecture, finance, technology etc. New York is a place where people know how to have fun and relish in the freedom of the weekend… packed restaurants, theaters, bars and clubs. If you didn’t know…. New Yorkers love to dance, New Yorkers wear black, New Yorkers don’t stare upwards at buildings while they are walking the streets, We’re fast paced and embrace the concept of a new york minute, therefore New Yorkers have less patience, unless you’re a doctor but that is a different type of patients.  All of these characteristics help to  define the culture. The museums, the mom and pop stores, the shows and performances including the wonderful art shows that you find yourself stumbling upon on lazy meandering days. This is why it so saddening to let everyone know that the next 3 weekends will be the last Crafts on Columbus art show after an outstanding 35 year run.

crafts on columbus

Briefly, the history of the Crafts on Columbus Art Show starts with a well-recognized NYC painter named Simon Gaon. Simon started this show in 1979 and found other artists who joined in showcasing their artwork in a wonderful community. All the proceeds benefited community programs and went directly back to helping the UWS. Well, we all know that when money is changing hands the city is going to want a part of it, so the show was later taken over by the parks and rec department to which they would find ways to spend the revenue generated. The show has hosted so many great designers and artists for 35 years, and created a platform from which emerging talents can grow and find their niche. Over the years there have also been countless memories, from wacky weather (springtime showers), to celebrity sightings, and even a temporary shut down one morning as the Pope  was scheduled to be traveling through the area.

Why is the show over? Is automatically the next question. Based on a report by DNAinfo.com (this is the link to article) it is the community board that doesn’t appreciate the show anymore or the foot traffic on the weekends and would prefer a farmers market every weekend instead….. Local Politics. This is just a synopsis of Emily Frost’s article. What I found most unappreciative was the quote from Robin Epstein, a resident who said “Now it’s(the art show) a mixed bag with a lot of junk, frankly”. I loved this quote because in another quote she is so enthusiastic for the flea market instead, which we all know from experience are completely junk free (sarcasm).

Flea market

Flea market

Here is a list of just 4 great artists we all know Vincent Van Gogh, Claude Monet, Emily Dickenson, and Edgar Allan Poe. The common thread between them is that the general population didn’t find value in their work while they were creating it, deeming it as “junk”. I find this relevant to the communities actions and opinions, seeing as though art is such a subjective matter. Emily Dickenson only had 9 poems published in her lifetime, all of which had to be modified from the original per the publishers request. Her complete works had later been released by family members after her death. Van Gogh was thought of as too dark and during his lifetime he only sold 1 painting of 900, titled Red Vineyard at Arles. Monet never gained much recognition during his time either, many people disliked his paintings because it went against the traditional style and method of painting. And finally Edgar Allen Poe, who actually did find a way to get his work published, but not that he gained the recognition he deserved for it among his peers in his time. The poem “the raven” was sold by Poe for a mere $9.00. The list goes on, but the lesson to be learned is you never know, you may very well be walking right past one of our societies most important artists, the foundational work of a whole new direction in art and culture. 

Van Gogh images Unknown-3 Unknown-4

What Crafts on Columbus has given our company over the years is invaluable. A great location to meet customers, admirers and just appreciative people. We have been fortunate to have met so many fans of our work, and grow interest and exposure to our business. Before Facebook, twitter and the rest of the social media sites this is how we were able to connect with our customers… In person (imagine that). So to that we would like to extend a HUGE THANKS to Yed and Myron. Two people who coordinate this every year. They have been inspirational, positive and unimaginably helpful to each and every exhibitor. Without their hard work and dedication to bring this show to life every year and making it a staple in the cultural beauty of New York City we would not be where we are today. Thank You!

Crafts on Columbus epitomizes the uniqueness of NYC and this culturally rich city just lost a bit of wind, as small as that might be in the grand scheme, it is still a loss. Unfortunately, the last word about Crafts on Columbus is best expressed by the raven from Edgar Allen Poe’s poem…. “Nevermore”.

We hope you can join in the farewell weekends of this show. The dates are:

April 26/27 • May 3/4 • May 10/11

10am until 6pm everyday rain or shine

Columbus avenue from 77th to 81st street

 If you would like to learn more about our company, our artwork, and events, we encourage you to subscribe to our email list here.

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-Karen and Aaron

 

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