44th Arts and Crafts Fair for all ages and artistic mediums

By Lyndsie Kiebert
Reader Intern

A year ago, Hannah Combs volunteered as a face painter at the Pend Oreille Arts Council’s annual Arts and Crafts Fair. It was her first summer living in Sandpoint.

“It was really cool because, I didn’t know it then, but [POAC]’s mission is to bring art to the community,” Combs said, noting that it was at the Arts and Crafts Fair that she got to see that mission statement in action.

Face painting will be offered in the kids booth, along with other activites. Courtesy photo.

Face painting will be offered in the kids booth, along with other activites. Courtesy photo.

Now, as her second summer in Sandpoint culminates and Arts and Crafts Fair approaches, she’ll be there in another role—as POAC’s arts administrator. Still, her initial introduction to the fair—through the experiences of the children whose faces she painted—is what showed her the range of community members the fair can reach.

“It’s just fun to be there, and cool to see the age groups [POAC] is able to affect,” Combs said. “This could expose kids to artists who might inspire them.”

The Arts and Crafts Fair provides local, regional and visiting artists who work with a multitude of mediums—wood, ceramics, glass, metal, paint and photography are just a few that POAC’s website lists—to gather and exhibit the fruits of that labor. Proceeds from the event go on to support other POAC programs meant to further the mission statement that Combs began to familiarize herself with last summer.

Seeing as this is Combs’ first year as the arts administrator for POAC—and therefore a key organizer of the Arts and Crafts Fair—she said she is excited for every aspect of the event. She looks forward to connecting with each of the participating artists.

“It has been so cool to talk on the phone with vendors and hear their stories,” Combs said. In fact, she said those stories are exactly why community members should come out for the fair.

“I would encourage people to ask [the artists] questions,” Combs said. “What do they make, where are they from, why do they do what they do.”

And just as POAC’s Arts and Crafts Fair serves as an event for community members of all ages, it showcases the work of artists of the same breadth.

“Some of these artists are just beginning, and this is their first fair,” Combs said. “It’s fun to see their designs and ideas—they’re so eager.”

Still, Combs said there are artists and community members who will be attending and participating in the fair that have been doing so for more than 30 years. While she may be one of the many fresh faces celebrating Sandpoint’s artful community, Combs said some will be attending who have seen the Arts and Crafts Fair grow since it first graced downtown Sandpoint.

The 44th annual POAC Arts and Crafts Fair begins Saturday, Aug. 13, at Sandpoint City Beach from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. and continues Sunday from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Over 100 artists will participate, along with a handful of food vendors and performers. The Arts and Crafts Fair is free to attend, while the kid’s booth (for children 12 and under) is $5 to cover the cost of supplies.

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