Arts & Entertainment

The Summit Festival of Fine Arts and Crafts: Beautiful Artwork on a Beautiful Day

Handmade jewelry by artisan Nadirah Bostick of Aquarian Thoughts. Credits: Julia Torsiello
Handcrafted copper sprinklers by artisan Mickey Bush of Sprinklers by Mick. Credits: Julia Torsiello
Outdoor concert by the West Hill Project. Credits: Julia Torsiello
Clay pottery by artisan Laura Hanley of Made with Clay by Laura. Credits: Julia Torsiello
Festival-goers fill Beechwood Avenue. Credits: Julia Torsiello
Union Place lined with talented artisans. Credits: Julia Torsiello

SUMMIT, NJ - More than 100 exhibitors lined the streets of downtown Summit on Sunday for the second annual Festival of Fine Arts and Crafts. Crowds of people filled Union Place, Beechwood Road, and Bank Street to view the
unique, handcrafted artwork displayed there.

Mickey Bush of Sprinklers by Mick said that he draws inspiration for his hand sculptured copper sprinklers from his wife. “[She] is a garden nut,” he explained, “so I tried to design a sprinkler so when it’s not running it would accent the flowers.”

Laura Hanley, another artisan, returned to the Summit Festival of Fine Arts and Crafts for the second year because “it’s good exposure.” Calling pottery “her livelihood,” Hanley’s company Made with Clay by Laura will be displayed at 426 Springfield Avenue, Summit in the fall.

Other artwork included jewelry, paintings, clothing, photography, glasswork, furniture, and soaps. A juried event, the Summit Festival of Fine Arts and Crafts selected the finest exhibitors from a large pool of talented artisans.

Cissy Gialanella from event promoter JC Promotions Inc. reported that not all exhibitors were chosen to participate in the Summit Festival of Fine Arts and Crafts this year. While the application process will still remain competitive, in 2013 the festival will expand to include Springfield Avenue as well.

“Last year [the festival] was really successful. . . we had over 6,000 people walk through,” Gialanella explained. With the annual date set for June rather than July, Gialanella said that she is expecting more people this year.

And on a beautiful Sunday afternoon, hundreds of local residents did flood the streets of downtown Summit to enjoy everything that the Festival of Fine Arts and Crafts had to offer.

Aside from looking at exquisitely handmade artwork, attendees sat in tented areas across from the Summit train station to listen to the variety of live music played there. The concert schedule included the West Hill Project, the Tony DeMeo Orchestra, Kristen Errett, and the Chatham Brass Ensemble.

Event sponsor Macaroni Kid also had tables set up for children to color. On why Macaroni Kid chose to sponsor the Summit Festival of Fine Arts and Crafts, owner Andrea Spaar said “we knew that there was going to be a lot of adult activities and we decided that it wouldn’t be right to have a street fair in Summit without things for kids to do.”

Other event sponsors included Lois Schneider Realtors, Parent Guide, Peapack-Gladstone Bank, The Star Ledger, Metropolitan Window Fashions, ING Financial Partners, and WDHA and WMTR Radio.

The festival, which was hosted by Summit Downtown, Inc., also supported the many restaurants in Summit’s town center. Executive Director of Summit Downtown, Inc. Marin Mixon specifically requested that no outside food vendors be present at the festival so that attendees could eat at the restaurants in town.

And that they did. Tables outside of restaurants on Union Place were full of festival attendees enjoying the beautiful artwork in front of them on a relaxing Sunday in downtown Summit.

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