About The KPFA Summer Crafts Fair
A Bay Area cultural treasure benefiting KPFA 94.1 FM Public Radio – a juried crafts fair showcasing over 200 exhibitors presenting affordable art and crafts - featuring original work made by hand and exhibited by the people who make it.
The KPFA Summer Crafts Fair showcases the brightest talents in contemporary art and craft, highlighting both experienced and emerging designers who produce one-of-a-kind, handmade and limited edition goods in a wide variety of media. These artisans and craftspeople combine new and traditional techniques with modern design aesthetics to produce appealingly fresh and innovative work. The artists love having the opportunity to personally present their work in the spacious, light filled, historic Craneway Pavilion; its waterfront location is dramatic and awe-inspiring, yet easily accessible for all.
At the Fair, one will find outstanding crafts for adorning the body as well as the home and office. Additionally, the fair features a quilt exhibit and sale, a mobile audience-participation mural, and live music from noon to 5pm both days, along with a live broadcast from the Craneway, airing on KPFA 94.1FM from 9am to noon on Saturday, and 8am to noon on Sunday. Visitors can meet and converse with luminaries of the KPFA airwaves in the convivial KPFA Lounge.
The KPFA Summer Crafts Fair came into being as the 44 year-old Live Oak Park Fair in Berkeley was brought to a close. Having run that event since 1988, Jan Etre wanted to grow the event by moving it into a larger space and turning it into a benefit for KPFA listener-sponsored radio. Says Etre, “Re-envisioning Live Oak Park Fair as the KPFA Summer Crafts Fair was a way of allowing for more artists to bring their work to a wider audience, while retaining that personal atmosphere. We’ve now got such a beautiful roof under which we can achieve this, with the natural world being a big part of the experience. The Craneway is like an enormous solarium that shows the artists’ work in its best light - quite literally!”
KPFA Radio has a reputation for embracing diversity and supporting local communities through its programming. Similar principles of discernment apply in the selection process of exhibitors for the KPFA Crafts Fair. The fair prioritizes a uniqueness of style, a high level of artisanship, craftwork created in studio (the artist/exhibitor must have an active hand in the making of their work), while trying to represent as much variety as possible. Jan Etre has been an advocate of artists and craftspeople for 27 years. "Buying directly from the artist affords the opportunity of establishing a personal connection. Buying from a store and not having any sense of whose hands helped create the item is more often than not a less meaningful experience. To interact with the artist is rich, as we learn where the materials came from, and gain a sense of the artist’s vision. To a certain extent mass produced goods are unavoidable, and we understand that, but at the crafts fair we celebrate the artisan and support his or her commitment to a life dedicated to creating unique arts and crafts.”
TRANSPORTATION: Parking is free and plentiful. The Craneway Pavilion is 10 minutes by car from Berkeley, 5 minutes from the Richmond/San Rafael Bridge. It’s accessible by public transit via BART and AMTRAK. At the Richmond Station, take the AC Transit #74 bus to Ford Point. The Craneway sits on the pedestrian and bike-friendly Bay Trail. Bicycles are encouraged; parking for bikes will be at the entrance to the Fair.
DOGS: Please leave your four footed friends at home! Dogs will not be allowed into the building unless they are carried the entire time. Dogs on the floor create hygiene problems which persist and escalate over the weekend. Thank you!
ABOUT THE CRANEWAY PAVILION: Originally a Ford Motor plant, it was transformed in WWII for the war effort. On site is the Rosie the Riveter WWII Home Front National Historic Park Visitor Education Center, which opened in 2012 and will be open over the weekend. Admission is free to the visitor center. The Craneway’s natural light is stunning. It has received numerous awards for its architecture. Its location on the waterfront and 180 degree views of the San Francisco Bay are breathtaking.