The warm breeze ushered us into Rochester Memorial Art Gallery‘s annual Clothesline Festival and there we were, in the Eden of local art festivals. Wrought with the creme de la creme of regional artwork from upstate New York, Clothesline is by far my most favorite of Rochester’s string of summer flings. Rather than take you play-by-play through this whirlwind event, which, in my opinion, has its best assortment of sophisticated and unique artwork yet, I opted to give you the abbreviated version. I must concede that there may well be plenty of gems I did not have time to get to, but I can assure you that the artists mentioned below deserve your attention, respect and awe. And so, without further ado, I give you some of upstate New York’s finest:
- Jon-John’s – I wanted to write about this phenomenal tastery, oh, I mean bakery, since the moment I left the shop’s stand at the South Wedge Farmer’s Market. After tasting a hefty (and free) helping of Jon-John’s peanut butter balls, I was sold, but the owners sealed the deal by taking the time to talk to me sincerely about their modest beginnings, describe their delicious products and invite me to spread the word, I instantly became a certifiable expert and loyal fan for Jon-John’s. My mom had an incredibly filling, vitamin- (and taste)-filled sweet potato tart, made with just a little bit of sugar and nutmeg, at the fest, and she was sold too. And so, it is done. The word has been spread.
Let’s start with where we made our purchases, shall we? My mom and I peruse Clothesline every year for Christmas and birthday gifts, which are later wrapped up and tucked away until the special day. This year, she picked out a gorgeous piece from a newcomer to Clothesline from Liverpool, Heather Hennigan of Born In Fire. Her artwork (because it’s really more art than jewelry), adds dimension to lampworks glass jewelry, and the one my mom picked out had a gorgeous lime and blue glass flower with a dyed silk adjustable chain, an ornate silver clasp and a few sparkly beads for fun.
- Buffalo’s DNA Jewelry Design blew us away, and we spent our last quickly diminishing moments at the fest trying to narrow down which pieces we liked best. My mom got some gorgeous lime colored earrings with soft, translucent leaves above big orbs of opaque, green beauty. In the end, my decision-making skills failed me, so I didn’t get one of DNA’s incredibly beautiful necklaces. I was eyeing a few hammered copper masterpieces though, which showed off its perfectly asymmetrical rings and was doused with bit of sparkly beading and colorful stones.