The creativity and skill of New York artisans are legendary. In New York arts and crafts stores and at museums and festivals all over the state, you’ll see distinctive works that reflect regional heritage, natural resources and landscapes.
Some of these arts and crafts creations are functional like Mohawk black ash and sweetgrass baskets at Akwesasne Cultural Center; St. Lawrence River skiffs at the Antique Boat Museum; or hand-decorated ceramics, tableware and home furnishings from MacKensie-Childs, where you may also take studio tours and stroll their gardens.
Other works of art are decorative, even whimsical yet still functional, like the reclaimed wooden tables, sculptures or cars from Fabulous Furniture. While in the Catskills and the Hudson Valley, explore the Hudson Valley Pottery Trail for an afternoon, visit the Woodstock Artists Association & Museum, or take a scenic drive over to the funky little community of Rosendale to visit the Women’s Studio Workshop and their papermaking, photography, ceramics and other studios.
Great works are on display (and often for sale) throughout the state, from famous NYC arts and crafts exhibits like Museum of Arts and Design to Corning Museum of Glass, which highlights local glassmaking history with creations by Steuben and Tiffany studios. At the museum, watch glassblowing demonstrations, make your own glass and plan enough time to linger in their gift shop and then to explore the arts and crafts shops in the Gaffer District.
New York State has many eagerly anticipated annual arts and crafts festivals, such as Long Island Fleece & Fiber Fair, Ithaca Artists Markets, Round Lake Arts & Crafts Festival, Syracuse Arts & Crafts Festival, Allentown Outdoor Art Festival, YMCA of Westfield Arts & Crafts Festival, and Woodstock-New Paltz Arts & Crafts Festivals (on Memorial Day and Labor Day weekends). Every spring and summer, the Art & Craft Festival at Deepwell’s Farm on the north shore of Long Island features over 100 artisans and craftspeople under glorious white Camelot tents. Just 20 minutes from Manhattan, Crafts at Lyndhurst is among the best-known and best-attended outdoor craft festivals in the US, and the Central Adirondack Art Show features over 200 artists.
All across New York, you can follow scenic routes to arts and crafts shopping districts, studios, and galleries; First Friday Art Walk in Binghamton and First Saturdays in Kingston are just two great gallery-hopping destinations. Artisans have banded together in communities like Sugar Loaf Art and Craft Village, where you’ll find over 30 independent artisans living and working together, some in buildings that date back to the 1700s, all within strolling distance of an array of cafes and restaurants. In East Aurora, visit the Roycroft Campus, a pioneering community in the Arts & Crafts Movement of the early 1800s. Today, it is a designated National Historic Landmark offering many delightful aspects, including housing the works of 90+ artisans at The Copper Shop Gallery. And, at places like Great Camp Sagamore, you can even learn the traditional arts each summer from folk artisans who are experts at rug making, blacksmithing and chair caning.