Vintage crafts inspire local artist

By Tanya Chilton tchilton@civitasmedia.com

April 7, 2014

Allison Leeds, president of the local society of decorative painters and chief organizer of Vintage Craft Guild of Yadkin Valley, explained recently that art enriches lives and softens the hard edges of everyday life.

Leeds was elected last year as secretary to the executive board of the society of decorative painters, an international group, based in Wichita, Kansas, with more 11,000 members, and also serves on the Foothills Arts Council Board.

Leeds is also a bee keeper, with a painted beehive in front of her store in Jonesville, which is set to reopen in May.

“I realize how important they are and I use them as part of inspiration, said Leeds.

An art show in 2013 initiated by Jonesville Historical Society Chair Judy Wolfe inspired her, she said.

“I saw opportunity to display my own work along with that of similarly traditional artists and crafters. There is also the chance to lend my skills toward developing the Guild into a group beneficial both to the members and to the community.”

She said she loves arts and crafts of all kinds.

Leeds is the admistrator of www. vintagecraftsguildofyadkinvalley that was started last December by Wolfe.

She said the inspiration behind the website is to further the love and interest in crafts that are traditional, foster an interest to learn and to give current artist a market for wares.

She said local artists are adapting vintage designs to popular decor and fashion. Some is made to look primitive, some make paintings in retro or colonial style, she said.

She said crochet and knitting is a wonderful art-form because it creates beauty with yarn and is utilitarian.

Taking age-old techniques and making art look brand new is often what a lot of artist are doing, said Leeds. She said people sometimes take pictures of nostalgic items to artists, who are are able to recreate them using modern techniques.

Leeds said she expects to have about 20 tables at the Jonesville Jubilee on May 3 and entry remains open until the day before. A form is available at heritagecrafts@earthlink.net. The tables are $10 and they benefit the historical society, said Leeds.

If an artist joins the craft guild for $15 will get to show art in all of the Art in the Park series. It begins the third Saturday in May with five planned at Lila Swaim Park in Jonesville throughout the summer.

“Rarely does anybody get to show their work for free.”