Havre de Grace Art Show vendors stick it out despite rainy Sunday

Havre de Grace Arts Show has many repeat visitors in its vendors

The 53rd annual Havre de Grace Art Show came to a rainy, soggy end Sunday, although many vendors stuck it out nearly until the end of the day.

"I like the show," Diana James, a vendor from Richmond, Va., said.

She has sold gourmet jams and jellies at the show for the past 17 years.

"I like the customers – the Soroptimist Club, they're great people to work with; they're not afraid to try different things."

The art show, which was held Friday, Saturday and Sunday at Tydings Park in Havre de Grace, is put on by Soroptimist International of Havre de Grace.

The annual exhibition is a major fundraiser for the local chapter, which uses the proceeds to fund its scholarship and community programs in Cecil and Harford counties, according to the chapter president, Donna Asher.

About 90 vendors participated in this year's show, which also included live music, wine tasting, a beer garden and family entertainment.

Attendance had been strong Friday evening for the opening and during the day Saturday, Asher said.

"It was pretty busy today, until the rain came," she noted Sunday.

A number of the vendors are repeat visitors, but this year was the first visit for Daniel Floyd, of Twin Oaks Hammocks.

Floyd, who is from Baltimore County, is one of about 100 people, who live and work on the Twin Oaks Community cooperative farm in Louisa, Va. He is among the 20 people there who make hammocks for sale in retail stores, online and at exhibitions such as the Havre de Grace Art Show.

Handmade hammocks, and hammock chairs, were on display at the Twin Oaks tent. Floyd inspects, sands and varnishes the wood components, and he weaves the ropes for the lying hammocks.

"Everyone is very friendly," Floyd said. "We had a lot of people trying out the hammocks."

Floyd said he also enjoyed the food at the art show, as well as some of the live music acts, such as the tribute group Patsy Cline & Friends.

He noted visitors hid under his vendor's tent during rain showers, which varied in intensity throughout Sunday afternoon.

Kit Hanson and her husband, George Raney, of Ocean Pines, on the Eastern Shore, attended for their fifth consecutive year.

"This is one of our favorite shows," Hanson, who was born and raised in Harford County, said.

She and her husband sell their stained glass and crystals.

Hanson said she and her husband call the Havre de Grace Art Show "our show-cation," because they can come to Tydings Park and feel relaxed as they look over the water where the Susquehanna River and the Chesapeake Bay meet.

She said they also enjoy the local restaurants.

"That's part of our vacation, to go eat at the Tidewater Grille," Hanson said.

Hanson praised the members of the Soroptimist Club who put on the show, and she noted customers "sort of get us" and their artwork.

"The stained glass and crystals are very well received," she said.

James, the jam and jelly maker, said she has developed a following over her 17 years of visiting the art show.

"I have a product that can be replaced," she said. "They eat it, they come back for more."

She has also staked out a spot on a hilly part of the park overlooking the boats docked in the City Yacht Basin.

"I have a great location with a great view of the water – and the clouds," she said, noting the dark rain clouds that hung low over the water Sunday.

Her tent is next to that of Edgewood resident Rob Kauzlarich, who has been an art show vendor for the past seven years.

Kauzlarich, who usually sells landscape photos shot with pinhole cameras, sold wooden birdhouses this year.

He made the custom-painted birdhouses from materials he has collected in his shop over the years. He built them during his treatment and recovery from prostate cancer during the past eight to nine months.

Kauzlarich started building pinhole cameras, which are made from household materials, to keep himself occupied on nights he could not sleep while undergoing radiation treatments.

Kauzlarich was a student at Harford Community College during the 1970s, and he worked in the college photo department as a lab technician and teaching assistant during the 70s, 80s and 90s.

He said he enjoys coming to the Havre de Grace Art Show because he knows people who attend and organize the show, and he noted Havre de Grace is "very craft oriented."

"It's very crafty, very communal, a very artsy kind of community," he said.

Neil Claypoole, co-owner of Jonathan's Spoons, of Kempton, Pa., sold hand-made wooden spoons. He said they make more than 60 styles of cherrywood kitchen utensils.

"They last a really long time, and they don't stain from tomato sauce," he said.

Claypoole said visitors started taking off once the rain started to "downpour."

"It's no fun shopping when it's pouring," he said. "If it's a light drizzle, they'll stick around."

Claypoole was among the vendors who stuck around until late afternoon, despite the rain.

"If you complain about the weather outside, you're not going to be an artist for very long," he said.

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