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Mare’s Wares Arts Festival attracts art enthusiasts from all over the state

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MORRISTOWN — Artists and art lovers across the state and nation gathered for a July 1 tradition, the Mare’s Wares Arts Fest.

For the sixth year in a row, Mary Ann Evans, owner of Mare’s Wares Pottery, 3938 Route 37, hosted the festival from noon to 8 p.m., right in her backyard. The festival featured artwork from 75 vendors who displayed paintings, jewelry, wine, wood carvings, pottery and more.

“There’s a lot of diverse artwork that we’re really excited about,” Ms. Evans said. “I’m all about having different things because I like to celebrate music, food and entertainment.”

Ms. Evans said people come from all over the state as well as Canada to visit the vendors and buy art.

Tracy J. Cox, Parishville, participated Monday by displaying his handmade guitars and inlay designs. He said he was surprised to talk with people at the festival from around the country.

“I’ve talked with people from all over New York state and people from North Carolina and Rhode Island,” he said.

Mr. Cox has been building guitars for six years, but this was his first year as a vendor in the Mare’s Wares Arts Fest.

“I like to build a guitar that sounds fantastic and is also a really beautiful thing to look at,” he said. “So it’s a piece of art.”

Ms. Evans said the vendors paid $100 to participate, by invitation only, because she wanted to make sure there is diversity among the artists each year.

“There’s something here for everyone,” Ms. Evans said. “We keep looking for something different that we know people will like.”

Karan M. Cross, organizer of the event, said the festival is not like any of the others in the area.

“We’re all about hand, head and heart artistry,” she said. “Most of the people we have are extraordinarily talented in multiple ways.”

Ms. Cross said the live music, food and children’s activities, including face painting, puppet shows and pony rides, allow for people to make the festival an all-day event.

“I think the people who continue to come back and participate in the show come back because they do well here and because it’s got a good vibe,” she said. “We have fun.”

Brian A. Smith, Morristown, is in charge of the live music stage. He said some art enthusiasts arrived early this year.

“It didn’t officially start until noon, but people were showing up as early as 10:30 a.m.,” he said.

Ms. Cross said the festival grows in vendors every year. She said last year brought in close to 2,000 people to buy art and enjoy the day, and this year’s festival had about the same number.

“We’ve become great networkers in sharing and spreading the joy of all this incredible art,” Ms. Cross said. “That’s what the show is all about — the celebration of the arts.”

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