By Ed Karvoski Jr., Contributing Writer
Northborough – As part of the 50th season of the Northborough Art Guild, longtime members greeted exhibitors and guests to its 49th annual Craft Fair, held Oct. 27 at the Peaslee Elementary School cafeteria. Admission for guests was still only 50 cents.
Diane Lyford, a guild member for 20 years and vice president for 10 years, understands the interest in the venue.
“I go to all kinds of craft fairs myself, always looking for something unusual to buy,” she said. “We have crafters who come to our fair every year to sell their items, and I think they also come back because they'se become friends with all the other crafters. Some of them have been coming here for years. We'se a friendly group.”
Exhibitors offered handmade holiday crafts, paintings, jewelry, hand bags, stuffed animals, knitted items, quilts, honey products, and more. As in past years, the fair also included a raffle, bake table and snack bar.
Ellen Racine has been a guild member for over 30 years and chair of the Craft Fair since 2000.
“The exhibitors do like to sell their items,” she said, “and I think a lot of them like our homemade food, too.”
The Northborough Art Guild was founded in March 1963, when several local artists began meeting regularly at one of their homes.
“It started by a group of people who were taking painting lessons and they got along so well that they decided to form an art group,” Racine explained. “The whole Art Guild took off from there.”
The nonprofit organization promotes arts in the community with two annual art shows and monthly meetings from September through April, except December. Held at the Northborough Historical Society at 50 Main Street, the meetings feature a guest speaker and a demonstration.
Each season begins with an art show in September during Applefest, presented in collaboration with the Northborough Garden Club. The exhibit displays pairings of floral arrangements with artwork created by Art Guild members.
This year's September meeting included a watercolor demonstration. An acrylic demonstration was presented in October.
The 2012-2013 season will continue with a meeting Tuesday, Nov. 13, at 7:30 p.m., when photographer Ron Rosenstock, of Holden, returns by popular demand with a PowerPoint presentation.
A guild member for 20 years, Genevieve Grenier has served as president since 2010. She felt the landmark season would be the ideal time to welcome back the photographer, whose work is displayed in a permanent collection at the Worcester Art Museum, as well as museums internationally.
“Everyone enjoyed his presentation when he was with us several years ago,” she said.
The Art Guild will also expand its relationship with the Garden Club when its president visits as guest speaker for the meeting Tuesday, Jan. 22.
“Sue Brackett from the Garden Club will come in and give us ideas of how we can create floral arrangements that compliment artwork,” Grenier said. “We'se never actually had someone from the Garden Club explain how they do floral designs, so we think that will be interesting.”
Meetings with a speaker and demonstration will continue the fourth Tuesday of the month from February through April. The annual dinner for members will be held in May. The second art show of the season, which is also open to nonmembers, will take place in June.
The officers stress that artists of all ages are welcomed to attend meetings.
“We have a lot of longtime members; we'se trying to get some more new, younger members involved,” Grenier said.
“The speakers have a vast amount of knowledge, which they share willingly,” Lyford added.
For more information, visit northboroartguild.tripod.com.