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River Festival Craft Show Reaches Top 50

KSAL Staff - February 3, 2016 10:44 am

The craft show at the Smoky Hill River Festival is one of the top 50 in the country.

According to Salina Arts and Humanities, the national ranking of the Smoky Hill River Festival’s Four Rivers Craft Show rose 57 slots in the annual Art Fair SourceBook ranking for 2015, released January 16.

The Four Rivers Craft Show ranked 42nd last year, up from 99th in the country’s top 100 fine craft shows in 2014, according to the Art Fair SoureBook of Nashville, TN a recognized resource for high-caliber show artists and event organizers.

The AFSB rankings are based on participating artist reported show sales. The Four Rivers Craft Show was the only one in the state of Kansas ranked in the Fine Craft Top 50 or Top 100 for 2015, and one of only 11 shows in the Midwest to make the Fine Craft Top 50.

“It’s wonderful that one or more of the River Festival’s shows continue to be nationally ranked and recognized,” says Visual Arts Coordinator Grace Peterson. “The Fine Art Show’s recognition in the Top 50 in 2014, alongside this honor for Four Rivers, demonstrates that our artists appreciate the strong sales, excellent hospitality and knowledgeable patrons that the Festival consistently brings to their booths.”

Alongside strong show sales, an additional incentive for Four Rivers artists are the Cash Merit Awards totaling $1,800 awarded each year by jurors on-site, based on the overall merit of the body of work by exhibiting artists.

Shaded Oakdale Park is the setting for the vibrant Four Rivers Craft Show marketplace, in which art and craft lovers can peruse and purchase handmade works from 53 exhibitors working in media including ceramics, leather, clothing, glass, metal, herbal/soaps, basketry, jewelry and more.

In 2015, $449,731 in overall purchases were generated in the River Festival’s three Visual Arts areas—the Four Rivers Craft Show, the Fine Art Show and the Demonstrating Artist area. Per-artist sales for the Four Rivers Craft Show were up 2 percent in 2015 compared to 2014.

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