Sandy Springs potter Judy Robkin said the American Craft Council's Atlanta show, scheduled for March 15 through 17 at the Cobb Galleria Centre in southeast Cobb County, stands out for at least two reasons.
"We have a lot more hands-on activities people can take part in this year at the event. In addition, there will be more emerging craft artists in addition to some cosmetic companies that will also be on hand with their products," said Robkin, who specializes in pottery sculptures depicting women and is displaying and selling her works at the show for the third year.
She and women's clothing maker Stephanie Williams, a Buckhead resident, are two of the local artists participating in the 2019 show. This marks the 30th year the nonprofit craft show has visited Atlanta and the 10th year it has been held at the Cobb Galleria. According to Pamela Diamond, the council's spokeswoman, it remains one of the largest juried fine craft shows in the Southeast.
"This year, the show features more than 230 of the country’s top contemporary craft artists, specializing in everything from handmade ceramics to fine jewelry as well as apparel, furniture, home décor and textiles," she said. "That collection of craftsmen includes at least 40 who will be at the Galleria who are Georgia residents."
Atlanta is one of four council shows nationwide, with the others in St. Paul, Minnesota; San Francisco and Baltimore. According to a news release on the Atlanta show, it offers metro Atlanta collectors, fans and enthusiasts of design, craft and art a once-a-year opportunity to discover, and shop, the best one-of-a-kind, artisan-made craft items.
"The lineup of artisans includes both emerging artists, who are new to the show, in addition to many longtime craftsmen who Atlanta patrons hope to see each year," Diamond said.
In addition to Robkin and Williams, artists in this year’s show she recommends visitors not miss include apparel designer Andrea Lebeau and furniture maker Hayley Davison, both of Asheville; ceramicist David Hooker, of Wheaton, Illinois; jewelry maker Susan Mahlstedt, of Kansas City.
In addition to the crafts, three popular programs designed for those attending the show are also returning, Diamond said. "These include Hip Pop, an emerging arts program which allows those attending the craft show to discover and shop some of the nation’s best, and most unique new crafts, while engaging with, and supporting, new craftsmen who create fresh work in a variety of aesthetics," Diamond said.
In addition, another program, Let’s Make inspiration stations, is a fun-for-all-ages program which invites Atlanta-area craft organizations and small beverage, food and skin care companies to showcase their products," she said.
In addition, the School-to-Market program is designed to bridge the gap between higher education curriculum in craft and the marketplace by providing undergraduate and graduate students a public venue for a curated, collective exhibition of their work, the news release stated.
At part of this year's show, the council is partnering with three Southern colleges: the University of Georgia's Lamar Dodd College of Art; Tennessee Tech University's School of Art, Craft and Design and Haywood Community College's Professional Crafts Program in North Carolina, the release stated.
Although this is only the second craft show in which Williams has participated, she said this show "has almost any type craft you could imagine, all under one roof."
"These craftsmen produce some very unique items, as they take strange and different type items and mold them into something that is completely new," she said.
Admission to the show is $12 in advance and $13 the days of the event for adults and free for council members and children 12 and under.
For more information or to purchase tickets, visit www.craftcouncil.org/atlanta.