Wandering for Art

American Craft Walk brings artists and makers downtown
20210925 Fwb Craftwalk 5632

Photography by Francesca Benedetto

Whether you are a serious crafter or simply a hobbyist, there will be an opportunity to see a selection of some of the most unique, one-of-a-kind items Wilmington artists have to offer. Back in action again is the downtown American Craft Walk happening on September 17. Over 100 artists will display their wares, which run the gamut from pressed flower art, batik, jewelry, painted wood pieces, ceramics, and sculpture.

The event has changed many hands since its inception. Starting in 2006, it was known as the Art & Antique Walk. After being managed by Cool Wilmington for a couple of years, ownership once again changed. In 2009, the event was known as The Art Walk and included the art and craft scene. Cool Wilmington regained management of the event now known as the American Craft Walk. “The event has progressively grown over the years,” says ANDRELLA CHRISTOPHER, president of Cool Wilmington.

2022 Acww PosterCool Wilmington is an event management and production company in Wilmington that has produced events for seventeen years in downtown for merchants. Each year, local artist DEBRA BUCCI, paints a unique design for the American Craft Walk poster. This year, Bucci has painted orchids.

Buyers can rest assured that the items sold are 100% original because all artists are vetted. They have to make what they sell according to Christopher. “For example, there is an alpaca farmer who processes the sheared fibers from their herd into yarn then crochets shawls and blankets, toys for children and/or pets,” Christopher says.

Local artisan JAMEKA WRISBON PURDIE has participated in the American Craft Walk since 2017.  Now her favorite event, she looks forward to selling her necklaces, bracelets, earrings, and hairpins. “I really wasn’t sure what to expect the first year. I just thought I would take a gamble and give it a try,” says Purdie. “My head spun around at the large number of quality artisans. It has been a truly wonderful experience watching this marvel continuously grow.”

You can view a list of participating artists and makers for this year’s event here.

The American Craft Walk prides itself in supporting local downtown restaurants.” I think one of the things that makes this festival special is that we don’t have food trucks,” says Christopher. “Our goal is to bring people downtown to eat/drink at the local businesses once they’ve visited the festival.”

The Craft Walk is from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and will go along Front Street from Orange Street up to Grace Street and along Princess Street. The event is free and is family and dog friendly.

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Categories: Culture