BLUE MOUNTAIN LAKE - In the heart of the region that invented the rustic aesthetic more than 125 years ago, the Adirondack Museum will present its 26th annual Rustic Furniture Fair from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.
Rusticity is a quintessentially American expression, inspired by romantic notions of wilderness as untamed nature in the mid-19th century, when it was given imaginative form in an extraordinary output of Adirondack furniture, architecture, and art. Furniture was made by hand in the region by local men who were guides and often carpenters and handymen as well. Their materials were primarily parts of trees-bark, twigs, branches, burls, and logs.
The museum's festival celebrates rustic art with displays presented by more than 50 of today's artisans and artists, chosen by the museum for their unique interpretations of the genre, as expressed in hand-crafted furniture, furnishings, and Adirondack paintings. Entrance to the fair is included with general museum admission.
Yacovella whitetail sculpture
During the event, these rustic makers talk with visitors about their inspirations, materials, and methods-with many conducting live demonstrations of willow bending, carving, and painting-and also have creations available for sale. (An early buying opportunity will be held from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. on Saturday; early-buying tickets are available at the door for $30 and include general museum admission.)
"It runs the full gamut from classic rustic design all the way to elegantly contemporary rustic, with everything in between," says artist Gary Casagrain, of Tupper Lake's Casagrain Gallery. "What's nice about it is that they're works of art, one of a kind."