Aug. 17—A new mural will welcome people to Cooperstown and celebrate the upcoming Cooperstown Artisan Festival.
Additionally, Cooperstown Foundation has also commissioned a mural for the Artisan Festival by Local artist Kelcy Kimmerer could be seen working on the mural on the back side of the Cooperstown Chamber of Commerce building on Wednesday.
"The mural is funded by local businesses as sponsorship support and Golden Artist Colors even donated the paint for the mural," said Tara Burke, executive director of the chamber.
The theme of the mural is "welcome to Cooperstown" and Kimmerer included different aspects that highlight the Cooperstown community.
"I wanted to include sustainability, nature, baseball, agricultural references, the artistic and musical aspects of Cooperstown, and diversity of community. I chose to reference the opera and Glimmerglass Park within the mural," Kimmerer said.
The mural also features a Hiawatha belt that represents the Onondaga nation.
"I really wanted to include the Onondaga nation in the mural as well, since they are a part of the history of the region and this was originally their land. I even reached out to the Onondaga nation to ask what would best represent them in the mural and they replied with Hiawatha's belt," Kimmerer said.
Kimmerer was chosen by the Cooperstown Foundation and was selected to paint the mural because of her ideas on how to capture the theme of Cooperstown, Burke said.
Inspired by the Leatherstocking Brush and Palette Club's 'Cooperstown Arts and Crafts Show,' a Labor Day weekend tradition that faded away after about 50 years, the Artisan Festival will take place in front of the Otsego County Courthouse on Upper Main Street in in the village on Sept. 3 and 4. Entry is free to all and the event will be open rain or shine.
The festival will feature handcrafted products ranging from unique gifts, skincare products, clothing, accessories, jewelry, housewares, home décor and specialty foods, Burke said.
"We've been consistently impressed with the quality of craftsmanship displayed by the vendors, as well as the enormous variety of media. You will find artisans working with wood, clay, metal, fibers, paper, resin, wax, glass and 'found' objects, as well as painting, drawing and photography," Burke said.
The festival will also feature live local music from The Council Rock Band and The Mopar Cams. Local food options will be available on-site. Children's activities will be provided by The Farmers' Museum.
"We really want to encourage people to take a trip out and stay for a weekend. We have artists and visitors coming from different areas around the state such as the Finger Lakes region, the Capital region and even downstate," Burke said.
Planning for the festival begins each January and starts with the artisan and vendor application process. Marketing initiatives and mapping placements for booths are also a part of the process.
"We work with a lot of community organizations such as the Cooperstown Art Association and from there on we start taking a look at logistics. A lot of artists really rely on the income from events like these and some artists even take several hours to fully set up their booth," Burke said.
"We really encourage people to come our and support the local artist and business community. We have a lot of returning vendors this year and they always love doing the event. The Artisan Festival is poised to continue to grow," she said.
Alexis Ochi, staff writer, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 607-441-7213.