A Very Glassy Event
Scout for Precious Cargo at the Third Great Lakes Beach Glass & Coastal Arts Festival.
Saturday, April 30
Combine 80 juried artists working in jewelry, paint, woodworking, fiber arts, ceramics, and more with live music, wine tasting, and a lecture series, and you have the treasure chest of goodies that is the Great Lakes Beach Glass & Coastal Arts Festival coming to the Bayfront Convention Center on April 30 and May 1.
According to Terri Reed of Relish Studio and Gallery, the event has grown beyond a focus on beach glass. "This is really an arts festival with an eclectic mix of all art mediums. It has a strong environmental, historical, and scientific flavor, as well."
History and science elements will be provided by guest speakers addressing a broad spectrum of topics including rare and unusual gemstones found in Lake Erie, the Porcupine Schooner and its future as a floating classroom, Port Erie's evolution, and the weird history of some old bottles.
One of the more fun activities is a Best Beach Find contest, where festival attendees have the chance to bring in their own treasures and potentially win cash prizes in variety of categories.
In addition, Richard LaMotte, who is known as the "godfather of sea glass," will be signing copies of his latest book, The Lure of Sea Glass, and there will be a bottle and shard identification area to help you identify your baubles.
"We are stoked," says Reed. "Our event is drawing people from all over the country, and in fact one vendor is coming from Nova Scotia." Several local organizations will be happy too. The festival donates booth space to Pennsylvania Sea Grant, the Pennsylvania Department of Natural Resources, the Tom Ridge Environmental Center Nature Shop, Bloom Collaborative, and the Coastal Resource Planning division of the Erie County Department of Planning. Further, proceeds of a raffle for art pieces will be donated to the Neighborhood Art House.
Tickets are $6 daily unless you want to spring for a $16 VIP ticket that earns you early entry (and first dibs at the vendor booths) on Saturday.
And a gentle reminder, dear readers, Mother's Day is May 8th. You should take her if she likes this sort of thing, or hunt down some treasure for a gift. She's precious, no? – Mary Birdsong
April 30 and May 1 // Bayfront Convention Center, 1 Sassafras Pier // relishinc.com