BANV hits Bel Air Festival for the Arts with kids and Grandmom

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    The Bel Air Festival for the Arts falls on the weekend of my daughter’s birthday which means Grandmom is in town to celebrate both her big day and the local arts scene at Shamrock Park. Grandmom was an art major in college and veteran of plenty of art shows where she displayed her own work, so she enjoys a good art festival. We started by taking some of my early holiday gift buying advice and stocking up on tree ornaments by folk artist Keith Millison of Gaithersburg. Next, we were treated to a demonstration of a foot-operated antique scroll saw at the Rock and Scroll Wood Plaques & Intarsia booth. BANV wasn’t the only one thinking early about the holidays. Pennsylvania artist Marilyn Hobday featured a wall of framed Christmas tree paintings of such infinite variety I had to ask what inspired the idea. She said she tried a few trees one year and got such a response, she now features 400 different variations of the trees and collectors seek her out at the Maryland Christmas Show at the Frederick Fairgrounds each year. Click here to see some from her collection. My 5-year-old lucked out at the Two Stitches booth where we were admiring a handmade bed canopy — the kind the little girls love with princess themes and yards of tulle that fall from the ceiling to their beds. The one on display didn’t have a princess theme so we asked if they had any others. As luck would have it, they had just one more — with a mermaid theme complete with real seashells and fabric flowers. It fit perfectly with her Princess Ariel birthday theme. I found the answer to my teacher, bus driver, music instructor holiday gift giving challenge at Brenda Joyner’s wearable art booth. It featured hundreds of fun pins and hair clips all featuring cute themes like ballet dancers, kid-packed school buses, butterflies, angels, musical notes … just about anything you would need for any teacher — unless, of course your teacher is a man. The most intriguing piece I saw was this chair sculpted of knotted caution tape by Pennsylvania fiber artist and sculptor Danielle Schaeffer. And if just admiring and buying art at the show isn’t enough for you, McFadden Art Glass of Baltimore offers glass blowing courses at their Eastern Avenue hot shop. I did notice one thing different from last year. The tin star phenomenon I mentioned on this blog at last year’s fair seems to be waning. I saw far fewer stars this year and as evidence of the fading trend, I noticed one vendor dropped prices to move their five-pointed stock.