Harrisburg, PA (April 4, 2012) - Since its founding, Pennsylvania has enjoyed an excellent reputation for fine craft and art. Tourists and visitors come to the Keystone State seeking stained glass, pottery, wood carvings, jewelry and paintings. Artists and artisans offer a great reason to spend vacation time and money in Pennsylvania. When the state's tourism industry gathers at the Capitol to commemorate PA Tourism Day on Monday, April 30, artisans from the mid-state will be on-hand to celebrate their craft.
Approximately a dozen artists from Central PA will demonstrate their craft and display their works of art including the Village Artisans Gallery, a nationally recognized gallery, housed in a circa 1875 former church brick building located in Boiling Springs. Also joining Tourism Day is The Yellow Breeches Chapter of the Pennsylvania Guild of Craftsmen. Organized in the early 1970's, they foster the appreciation of fine craft and encourage the study and practice of handmade fine crafts in the community.
Tourism Day is part of a three-day industry summit, being held at The Hilton Harrisburg, April 30-May 2, 2012. The highlight of the summit occurs on Monday, April 30 at 3pm at the State Capitol to celebrate Tourism Day. The rally will include hundreds of people employed by this vital state industry including costumed characters from area attractions and sporting events, in addition to a variety of exhibits and promotions highlighting the many features of tourism in Pennsylvania. The public is invited to join in the celebration of the state's tourism industry by attending the rally and expo at the Capitol from 10-4pm on Monday, April 30.
Participating Tourism Day artists include:
• Gay Foltz - Folk-Art Carver – Nationally recognized as one of the more accomplished folk-art carvers in Pennsylvania, Gay Foltz has been creating her imaginative woodcarvings since 1983. Gay and her work have been featured on HGTV's "That's Clever", in "Country Folk Art" magazine, "Chip Chats" magazine and numerous newspaper articles. Gay's studio, where she can be found at work creating her carvings, has been an integral part of the Village Artisans Gallery since it opened in 1995. www.villageartisansgallery.com
• Bonnie Tweedy Shaw – Felting sculptor and wood carver – Bonnie Tweedy Shaw has a very eclectic interest in art mediums; wood carving, painting people, pet portraits, and needle sculpting felted wool, to name a few. She's an avid pet lover and animals are some of her favorite subjects. Often her interests take on a whimsical note, like carousel creatures, dragons, fairies or a cartoon animal. www.villageartisansgallery.com
• Paula Lewis – Copper Enameling – Paula is the president of the Yellow Breeches Chapter of the Pennsylvania Guild of Craftsmen and she states that "The marriage of glass to metal is a tempestuous one, which guarantees it is exciting for both the artist and the beholder of the work. There is no other medium for me, enamel is vibrant, strong, temperamental and supremely beautiful." http://ybcrafts.org
• Nancy Crochet – Clothing – Exploring the combination of fabric and embroidery, Nancy has been fashioning garments for women that are comfortable and stylish. Nancy states "The one thing I cannot create in my studio is customers. Without the help and encouragement of gallery owners like PJ Heyman at the Village Artisans Gallery, I would not have access to new customers." www.villageartisansgallery.com
• Bob Cappelluti & Jamie Juliana – Pottery artisans - Bob and Jamie are pottery artisans out of Riverbottom Pottery in Harrisburg. They are owners, teachers and artisans with a combined 40 years of experience in wheel throwing and building functional and artistic stoneware pottery. Riverbottom Pottery offers the Central PA area the only multifunctional studio where local pottery artists can display their wares, take classes, purchase supplies and rent studio space. http://riverbottompottery.com
• Diane Troutman – Hand sculpted one-of-a-kind Santas – Troutman Originals, located in Carlisle, PA, began in 1996 and produces and sells hand sculpted original Santas and other holiday characters created by artist and sculptor Diane Troutman. Each figure is created one at a time from the highest quality materials and takes one week to complete. Diane was featured on the HGTV show "That's Clever" and her work has been featured in national magazines. http://www.troutmanoriginals.com
• Gay McGeary – Traditional handwoven coverlets and runners – Gay McGeary has been researching and weaving coverlets for over twenty years. Her work is inspired by the patterns and weaves structures used by Pennsylvania German artisans during the nineteenth century. She incorporates color, texture and pattern within her finely woven coverlets, combining art with function.
• Angela Heim & Julie Reitenbach – Artisan jewelers – The AnJules Studio in Loyalton, PA is owned by sister artisan jewelers. Their richly diverse styles produce an array of jewelry from everyday to precious gemstones. They travel to galleries, art festivals and craft fairs and tourism is vital to this pair of Central PA artisan jewelers. www.anjulesjewels.com
• Roxan O'Brian – Jewelry artist – Roxan is a jewelry artist who works from her studio producing original designs in beadwork and metalwork. Her style is an elegant example of unique design, color and texture in the form of wearable art. Roxan states: "Tourism is very important to me since this is a way for me to get my work seen by broader exposure to the public." www.designsbyroxan.com
Pennsylvania tourism accounts for more than 433,000 jobs in the state. In 2010, tourists spent more than $31 billion, generating more than $3 billion in tax revenue.