What to know before the return of the event

Keuka Arts Festival 2022 organizers are excited about the energy surrounding this year’s event.

“We had to cancel the 2020 Festival,” explains Karen Morris, co-chair of the festival committee, “and the 2021 Festival has been postponed until September. Between the pandemic and the change of dates, last year was really more of a “stop gap”.

Morris said the pandemic years were particularly difficult for artists who depend on the summer “festival circuit” for much of their annual income.

“We’ve seen a number of artists who simply stopped creating because they were overwhelmed by the pandemic,” she says. “Many older artists have decided that the past two years is the time to retire from active involvement and younger artists have not had the opportunity to start their businesses as many festivals are still on hiatus.”

This year’s Keuka Arts Festival, scheduled for June 11-12 along Penn Yan Village’s scenic Outlet Trail, promises to be much more vibrant.

“So far, we have over 70 artists and vendors from across the region participating,” said committee co-chair Cindy Kowalski. “Nearly half of the vendors are new to our event. The mix of artists includes painters, jewellers, potters, sculptors and carpenters as well as handicrafts in metal, fiber and glass.

Returning favorites include “Top Booth Winners” IDEA Collective and Short Line Spikes; jewelers Janis Long, Gerina Faison and Elizabeth Lassing; painters Fred Lawrenson, Eli Thomas and Nancy Curran; photographers Michael Weishan and Holly Lawrenson; potters Kim Cutler and Katie Brockman; as well as Bayside Wood Products, Slate Accents and Jeanne’s Garden.

Local wineries and distilleries will be offering tastings at the Keuka Arts Festival, including Weis Vineyards.

Look for new artists from Pennsylvania (Fine Line Leather Designs, Custom Creations and MarkArt 200), greater Rochester area (Lulu & Juju, Pluck and Kalli by DeZign) and Corning/Ithaca (Water of Whimsy, Gbird Knots and Sheri’s Art) as well as the debut of several Yates County artists (the baskets of Colorful Chaos Studio, Spellcraft Woodworks, and Studio @ 126 Main).

Musical performances are also a highly anticipated part of the Keuka Arts Festival.

This year’s musicians include Three Stone Fire (Celtic), Feedback (Classic Rock and Motown), Emily Angell (Pop), Artistic License, Steve Grills and the Roadmasters (Blues), the Mount Vernon Men’s Chorus (Gospel), John Bolger (Blues, Swing, Rock) and Anthony Santiago (Latin). The groups will perform on two stages throughout the two days of the festival.

Of course, no festival would be complete without food. The Keuka Arts Festival is delighted to once again welcome Thelma’s Mobile Kitchen with Greene’s Smokin’ Barbecue, the 315 Food Truck and more.

Hot corn will be among the treats available at the Keuka Arts Festival.

Local wineries and distilleries will be offering tastings at stations scattered around the festival – look for Weis Vineyards, Point of the Bluff Vineyard and Ravine’s Wine Cellar as well as Krooked Tusker and Antler Run Distilleries – and sweet snacks and gourmet items abound (Seneca Farms Ice Cream, KP Kettle Corn, The Sprinkle Starship, Indian Pines, Shepard Maple and Honey, Nectar of the Vine to name a few).

“It’s a huge undertaking,” says Kowalski, “and our volunteers make it all work.” Anyone interested in volunteering during the Festival can contact the Yates County Center for the Arts at 315-536-8226 to sign up for a shift.

Sponsors of the 2022 Keuka Arts Festival include the Yates Endowment of the Rochester Area Community Foundation, Community Bank, Ferro Corporation, 1897 Beekman House, Knapp and Schlappi.

For more information, visit the Keuka Arts Festival website at keukaartsfestival.com. Admission and parking at the Arts Festival are free.

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