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St. Pete’s J.D. River, making a name for himself with abstract impressionistic portraiture, brings his 3D creations to the festival with mixtures of resin, ink, pastel and metals.

ST. PETE BEACH — Bringing a wide variety of appealing and exquisite creations, skilled craft artisans will take part in the free, two-day 18th annual St. Pete Beach Corey Area Craft Festival, running Saturday and Sunday, April 23-24, on Corey Avenue in downtown St. Pete Beach.

Hours will be 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Admission is free. For information, visit www.artfestival.com.

Considered a haven for emerging artistic talent, each St. Pete Beach Corey Area Craft Festival reveals new innovative and decorative creations for residents and visitors alike to enjoy. Along with a wealth of creative, affordable and practical creations, the festival includes a full green market.

Presented by American Craft Endeavors, the juried outdoor craft showcase will feature original crafts handmade in America. The unique items are priced to suit all budgets, with selections ranging from as little as $5 to $3,000. The crafters are hand-selected from hundreds of applicants. They remain on site for the duration of the festival. Festivalgoers will find a vast array of artistic media such as folk art, pottery, personalized gifts, handmade clothing, basket weaving, beaded utensils, candles, cork assemblage, fabric design, fiber quilts, fused wax and glass, hair accessories, handbags and accessories, handmade cards, leather, mosaic, wood, painted wood, plaster craft and stained glass.

The Green Market segment of the festival will feature items such as exotic live plants, handmade soaps, savory dips and gourmet sauces.

Don and Cristina Williams, raku artists from St. Petersburg, will be taking part in the festival.

This couple collaborates on each piece, perfecting their skills in the ancient Japanese art of shino glaze, a process that has not changed in centuries yet yields a different effect with each finished piece. They welcome the opportunity to meet and speak with art enthusiasts and potential investors they meet at each festival.

“I was born to do art,” Don said in an email. “I love it, live it and love to share with others. I have been doing pottery almost 30 years now. My wife Cristina is very talented as well and we do a lot of collaborative pieces like our penguins and cats.”

The couple frequently participates in American Craft Endeavors craft shows throughout Florida, sharing their work and their love for raku pottery.

JD River is a contemporary mixed media artist based in the Warehouse Arts District of St. Petersburg.

Working in both 2D and 3D, River combines acrylic paints, pigments, resins, and ink with metals and wood to create dynamic originals with rich colors and textures.

Ocala’s Rick Rocco has a passion for unique and wonderful things made from recycled or repurposed items. He makes things out of retired barrels or repurposed wood.

“I have been working with wood since I was a kid,” Rocco says on his website at bluehillscrafters.com. “My father (Pai) had taught me the art of swinging a hammer and working hard to get what you want.”

His father once told him that when you find something you that you love and make a living out of it, you will never have to work again.

“I really believe that now,” he says. “I have done some great things in my life but none gives me more satisfaction than creating a piece of art and have others love it …”

About American Craft Endeavors

American Craft Endeavors produces high-end juried craft shows in many of Florida’s vibrant downtown areas and popular tourist destinations including the Siesta Key Craft Festival in Sarasota and the Downtown Venice Art Festival and Craft shows in Venice. The group’s founders personally select unique, culturally rich cities and towns for their show locations, providing a complete outdoor experience unmatched by other festivals. All crafters are hand-selected from hundreds of applicants in order to ensure a superior event featuring diverse art media and the highest quality of original handmade crafts.

For additional information on the St. Pete Beach Corey Area Craft Festival and other American Craft Endeavors craft shows, visit www.artfestival.com or call 561-746-6615.