Congratulations to these outstanding artists who won this year’s Art and Craft awards!  We had a wonderful group of amazingly talented artists.  Thanks to all who participated in the King William Fair and to Nancy and Chris Price for serving as our Volunteer Art & Craft Managers! 

Best in Show: Rachel Dory

Rachel Dory is an Austin-based artist known for her site-specific urban and rural landscape paintings of Roadside America. She is focused on capturing the feelings and emotions of physical locations.  After visiting and studying a location, the image emerges through multiple layers of paint that are brushed, wiped, scraped and scored. Ink, fabric and other materials may also be incorporated into the final composition.

Often her work is the result of requests received to produce commissioned paintings.  “It is always an honor to be trusted to paint a location that holds deep meaning for someone,” Rachel says.  “I approach every commissioned painting as collaboration. I listen closely during conversations to understand what is important about the subject I am painting, and how to incorporate the emotions and memories into the composition. I travel to locations and work from photographs provided to me, but the location does not necessarily have to be readily accessible. Some locations exist only in memories, and I can work from what is remembered or what the client has available in order to recreate the place.”  

Rachel’s goal is to capture the feeling that the special place evokes, whether it is the farm where you grew up or the café where you met that special someone.  To see more of Rachel’s art, visit racheldory.com.

Best Fiesta Spirit: Liz Leathurbury, Bird & Pear

After years in retail and merchandising, Liz Leathurbury started Bird & Pear in her dining room after looking all over for cheerful, quality, handmade gifts and home accessories that reflected the South Texas aesthetic and made her smile.  But she realized that we all live in reality: “Things can’t be too dear to us. Purses really get used to carry stuff. Pillows are used for lounging. The dog sleeps on the sofa! It’s got to be cute, colorful and most importantly, hold up. Mexican dresses were the answer! I grew up wearing these easy, cool, 100% cotton, super colorful dresses. There was a different one for every summer, and beach vacations where you wore a different one every day were the best!  The flowers simply make any day more delightful and the little extra flourishes like the butterflies, birds and bows unique to each stitcher are so fun.  I adore the images and sun-soaked colors of Mexico and quirky displays that contain the unexpected.”  

Visit thebirdandpear.com to see more of the fun that Liz creates. 

Best Booth Display: Barbara Warren, B Warren Designs

Barbara Warren, a native of San Antonio, has been designing and making jewelry for 12 years.  What started out as a hobby quickly turned into an obsession, or as she sometimes says, “her night job.”  During the day she works as a speech pathologist in private practice in San Antonio.  Barbara a self-taught studio jeweler who began by taking classes at local bead stores to learn the basic skills.  Over the years she has continued to take classes to hone her metal smithing skills.

Barbara designs jewelry with the belief that simplicity can make a statement, creating pieces that are handcrafted from high quality materials with great attention to detail.  She uses a variety of materials, including semi-precious gemstones, freshwater pearls, Swarovski crystal, Czech glass and vintage beads. Most designs include sterling silver, vermeil or 14 karat gold-filled metals.

For Barbara, the process of creating is as exciting as the finished product.  She finds that every now and then she will make something that’s not quite what she envisioned, and then will spend even more time taking it apart or replacing a stone that isn’t quite right.  She has to love it and want to wear it herself!  Barbara says, “I am grateful for all of my customers and their continued support over the years.  Participating in the King William Fair is always a highlight of my year!  Thank you for letting me be a part of it.”

 

Honorable Mentions:

Jerry Locke, Walls That Rock, wallsthatrock.com

Kristen Saksa Juen, saksajuen.com 

Shawn Corder, Get Bent Metal Works, getbentmetal-works.com

 

To see more of our 2018 Art & Craft participants visit kwfair.org.

- Zet Baer, Fair Consultant