Buffalo has a long history of enthusiasm for the arts, and this year will be no exception! This summer, the fourth annual Jack Craft Fair, Buffalo’s premier alternative craft fair, takes place from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 19 at Buffalo Outer Harbor. The fair aims to revolutionize the way people think about crafts and provides an opportunity for consumers to purchase quality, handmade products that can’t be found at any other local festival.
The fair was conceived by Samantha Epps, a Buffalo-born artist and entrepreneur who saw the need for an alternative to the traditional craft fair. “There are so many highly industrious, innovative and modern crafts that today’s artists are producing. I felt a need to create an event that would reveal this idea of modern arts and crafts,” Epps said.
The fair’s main attraction is a vendor market of over 100 highly curated artists, but the event strives to be much more than that. In conjunction with the vendor market, the event will feature live music from local musicians, including a contender on “The Voice,” Keith James. Lunch from local food trucks and a day-long schedule of free drop-in workshops are also planned.
“The workshop component is very important to the event’s identity,” said Khrista Tabak, workshop director for the Jack Craft Fair. “Our mission is to make the art of crafting accessible to any and all individuals. All of our workshops are free and require no pre-registration; simply drop in and learn a new skill!”
This year, the Jack Craft Fair will be partnering with local artists and institutions to offer free workshops including Origami Book Sculptures, Smartphone Photography, Marbled Bowls and Beads, Bubble Printing, and My Mark Matters: An Exploration of Mixed Media.
Previously at venues such as Larkin Square, Buffalo Riverworks and the Central Terminal, this year’s event will take place at Wilkeson Pointe on Buffalo’s Outer Harbor. “An outdoor venue is something we’ve been looking forward to for a while. This expansion allows us to grow our vendor market and accommodate a much larger number of attendees, while also participating in Buffalo’s waterfront revival,” said Epps.
Epps works for a local advertising start up, Scale Digital Marketing, and was formerly director of events at Larkin Square. Tabak is a high school and elementary school teacher for Depew Schools and the former program director at the WNY Book Arts Center. The two young women take pride in their Buffalo roots and through this event, strive to put Buffalo on the map as a progressive city with strong ties to art and culture.
The event offers free parking and admission, public bathrooms and easy access if traveling by foot or bike via the Queen City Bike Ferry.