Kutztown Univ. hosting Guild of Craftsmen Holiday Show Nov. 10 & 11

Jewelry is just one of the many offerings to be experiences at the Reading-Berks Chapter of the Pennsylvania Guild of Craftsmen Holiday Show on Nov. 10 and 11 at Kutztown University.

Reading, PA--One of the region’s most popular seasonal shopping events for authentic local fine arts and crafts--the Reading-Berks Chapter of the Pennsylvania Guild of Craftsmen Holiday Show (www.rbcrafts.org)--will be held on Sat., Nov. 10 (9 a.m.-5 p.m.) and Sunday, Nov. 11, 2012 (10 a.m. to 4 p.m.) at Kutztown, Pa.

This is the 63rd year for one of Pennsylvania’s longest running craft shows that premiered in 1949. It will be held at Keystone Hall on the campus of Kutztown University at South Campus Drive and Baldy Street, just off Route 222 in partnership with Kutztown University and the Pennsylvania German Cultural Heritage Center.

The Guild’s show offers museum quality examples of contemporary and traditional Pennsylvania folk artwork produced by members of the Reading-Berks Chapter--the largest chapter in the Pennsylvania Guild--and other juried craftsmen who are members of the Pennsylvania Guild. Kutztown University and other college art students will also display and sell their work; the Guild has offered free space and mentoring to students for the last 10 years.

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Barry Bennecoff, Reading-Berks Guild president, said several genres of crafts and fine art are represented--assorted arts, basketry, clay, fiber, glass, jewelry, metal, paper, photography and wood. Traditional holiday show favorites are stained glass, hooked rugs, pressed and dried flower art, furniture, woodworking, ceramics, wearables, tole and folk art paintings and holiday collectibles, including Santas.

“Our Guild is dedicated to showing the diversity of fine crafts and talent from Berks County and beyond. Our members have earned a global reputation for their work. Our holiday and spring shows at Kutztown are excellent venues to see their work and to find original and unique gifts. And we are pleased to be able to showcase the work of students who will continue our traditions,” Bennecoff said.

For a preview of the holiday show, visit http://youtu.be/xfrTrO9QmrA to see a Comcast interview with Carol Haile, a lifetime member of the Reading-Berks Guild, or watch the Guild’s “Your Berks Craftsmen” show on Berks Community Television (BCTV) (www.bctv,org), which airs several times in October.

Show Chairman Terry Boyer said this year the show will feature a display of the work of the late Gene Burkhart, an internationally renowned, award-winning flower artist. Gene, who died in April, was a lifetime Guild member and very active in supporting and promoting its many programs. He had his studio at the GoggleWorks, Reading, where he was an active volunteer, and was also host of the Guild’s “Your Berks Craftsmen” and GoggleWorks monthly shows on BCTV.

Boyer said that BCTV will hold a special auction of Gene’s art on Oct. 10 at the Crowne Plaza , Wyomissing. His work will also be included in the “Gallery of Crafts” on Oct. 25 during BCTV’s annual live auction (Oct. 22-27) and in the Pick-a-Prize raffle during the Guild’s holiday show at Kutztown.

Other attractions scheduled for the Guild’s two-day holiday show include working demonstrations by some of the crafts people, live music by the Acoustic Road Show and refreshments by Dori Martin Catering.

Boyer added that there is ample free parking with handicapped accessible areas. The show is wheelchair accessible as well. The donation for admission is $4. Children under 12 are free.

Founded in 1945, the Reading Chapter has a four-fold mission: To promote and protect the interests of the craftsman; to encourage the study and practice of handcrafts; to uphold the best of traditional and contemporary crafts; and to maintain standards of excellence in design and technique. Membership is open to anyone.

In addition to its holiday and spring craft shows each year and its BCTV show, the Guild publishes a newsletter, hosts an annual student awards program with monetary awards for Berks County high school seniors, and disburses annual grants to members for educational use. The Guild donates yearly to BCTV and the Kutztown University Scholarship fund. It also participates in the Pennsylvania German Cultural Heritage Center’s Easter-on-the-Farm, Harvest Fescht and Christmas-on-the-Farm events.

For more details, visit the website www.rbcrafts.org or call 610-678-6650.