Press & public invited to presentation:
Wednesday, August 6 / 11:00 a.m. / NEK Artisans Guild, 430 Railroad Street, St. Johnsbury
The State of Vermont has named the Northeast Kingdom Artisans Guild the latest Vermont State Craft Center, a distinction designed to promote Vermont’s high-quality craft galleries and craft schools as well as its craftspeople.
The St. Johnsbury gallery joins Frog Hollow Craft Center in Burlington, the Artisans Hand in Montpelier, the Gallery at the VAULT in Springfield, and the Vermont Woodworking School in Fairfax, all Vermont State Craft Center Galleries or Vermont State Craft Education Centers. Fletcher Farm School in Ludlow also received official state designation earlier this year, and will be recognized in a presentation later this month.
Galleries and education organizations that apply for state designation are judged on a variety of measures, including the diversity and quality of work displayed in galleries and the breadth and quality of class offerings in education organizations.
The Northeast Kingdom Artisans Guild has been representing, retailing and exhibiting Vermont crafters' work in downtown St. Johnsbury since the fall of 1997. First established in one small room in the former Catamount Arts building, it has been at its present location on Railroad Street for sixteen years. From a dedicated group of ten, the Guild membership has expanded to almost 100 artists today.
The jury that evaluated the Guild’s application for state designation was particularly impressed by the store’s longstanding commitment to showcasing exclusively Vermont-made craft, as well as its strong community presence and support over the last 16 years.
Nancy Brooks, Chief Marketing Officer for the State of Vermont, will officially welcome the NEK Artisans Guild into the State Craft Center network in a presentation on Wednesday, August 6, at 11:00 a.m. at the Guild’s gallery space on Railroad Street. Media and the public are welcome.
“I’m very pleased to recognize the Northeast Kingdom Artisans Guild as our state’s newest craft center gallery,” Brooks said. “Our network of Vermont State Craft Centers – now six across the state -- foster and promote high-quality crafts and craftspeople, which are an integral part of the Vermont brand. With the addition of the NEK Artisans Guild in St. Johnsbury, our traditions of quality, authenticity and handmade art are now officially recognized in stores and schools in every region of the state.”
Designated craft centers will be entitled to use a unique logo in their marketing materials and at their site, indicating they are an official Vermont State Craft Center Gallery or Vermont State Craft Education Center.
“Our goal is to ensure that consumers can trust that when they see the State Craft Center emblem on the door, they are visiting a site that values excellence in their trade and represents Vermont’s reputation for high quality,” Brooks said.
“The Guild and its artisans are thrilled to be recognized as a State Craft Center and to partner with the State of Vermont to promote the best of Vermont crafts,” said Delsie Hoyt, President of the Northeast Kingdom Artisans Guild. “Besides producing beautiful, useful, and innovative works, our member artisans are vibrant, small businesses contributing to the State's overall economy.”
Barbara Hatch, Executive Director of the St. Johnsbury Chamber of Commerce, added: “The St. Johnsbury Chamber of Commerce is proud of the Northeast Kingdom Artisans Guild for its dedication and commitment to showcasing the highest quality Vermont crafts and earning the State Craft Center designation. The NEK Artisans Guild is truly a treasure in our downtown that attracts tourism locally and from afar.”
To learn more about the Vermont State Craft Center designation application process, visit www.craftcenters.vermont.gov.
Media Contact: Nancy Brooks, (802)828-2999, Nancy.Brooks@state.vt.us