Glastonbury holds 51st annual Art on the Green

By Steve Smith - Staff Writer
Glastonbury - posted Wed., Sep. 11, 2013
Kiki Kinney of Quitsakiki Designs chats with potential customers about her metal-working designs at the Glastonbury Arts 'Art on the Green' event on Sept. 7. Photos by Steve Smith.
Kiki Kinney of Quitsakiki Designs chats with potential customers about her metal-working designs at the Glastonbury Arts 'Art on the Green' event on Sept. 7. Photos by Steve Smith.

Organizers of Art on the Green couldn’t have asked for more perfect weather, as the 51st annual event again brought thousands to the Hubbard Green on Sept. 7 and 8. “This is wonderful,” said Art on the Green Chair Katherine Simmons. “This is a really good, steady flow.”

Glastonbury photographer Elizabeth Taylor, who has had a tent at the show for the past 10 years, said she loves seeing the local people. “I love that all of our clients come by to see their photos here,” she said. "I get a lot of new clients, here, too. As a photographer, I like talking to people, so I don’t mind sitting here all day meeting people.”

Taylor said that while the show is a lot of work, she still loves it, and is especially proud of some recent work with Glastonbury High School senior portraits, including using locations such as historic buildings and items like automobiles as sets and props. She said people at the festival ask what sort of portraits would work best for them.

“They just want to figure out what we can do that is most appropriate for them, based on what ages their kids are,” she said.

Catherine Banas and William LeClerc of Twirling Twigs of East Hampton brought a variety of wood-carved kitchen utensils, as well as some popular miniature birdhouses. They have been coming to this show for six years. “The people are great, it’s an easy set-up and break-down, and always a nice turnout, no matter what the weather is,” Banas said.

“The quality of vendors here is just amazing,” said Alicia Meredith of Alicia Nicole Designs of New London. “It brings in a nice customer base, who appreciate the artistry that they see.”

Meredith had hand-made handbags and scarves, as well as fabric jewelry. “My scarves can be worked multiple ways,” she said. “The handbags – a lot of them have handles that can be worn as a necklace. So, it’s functional, as well.”

Kiki Kinney, proprietor of Quitsakiki Designs, based in Marblehead, Mass., said this is her second year at Art on the Green. She said she had a really great first time, including the netting of many repeat customers for her metal-works and jewelry, and couldn’t wait to come back.

“It’s nice to find new venues,” Kinney said, adding that she has changed her techniques over the years. “I do a lot of work where I use a hydraulic press. I’m using new innovative techniques, including an ancient rug-weaving technique from Azarbaijan. I’m taking a fiber technique and using it with metals. If you want people to follow your product, it’s nice to change up your product a lot.”

Simmons had her own booth, showcasing her own landscape oil paintings, as she has for about 20 years. She said each year about 30 to 40 percent of the artists are new. Those who make way for them are not displeased with the show, but they are often committed elsewhere, as busy artists are.

“We have one exhibitor who is usually with us, but he is hosting workshops in Italy this time,” she said. “That’s good because it keeps the show fresh. People find their old favorites, but find new things, too.”

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