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The Maine Crafts Guild’s Fine Craft Shows Are Back, With a Twist

After merging with the Maine Crafts Association, the guild’s three much-loved fine-craft shows make their return this summer.

Photograph Courtesy of the Maine Crafts Association/Doug McMinimy
By Adrienne Perron

If, for the last 40 or so years, you were foggy on the difference between the Maine Crafts Association, dedicated to advocacy and professional development for the state’s craft artists, and the Maine Crafts Guild, a juried membership organization for later-career craftspeople, you were not alone. When the latter outfit folded into the former last year, the merger’s formal announcement copped to the fact that even some artists had been confused.

If you’re an admirer and occasional buyer of Maine-made crafts, what you need to know is a) the guild’s main focus was organizing a series of fine craft shows, to which hundreds flocked looking for top-notch handmade goods, and b) after a pandemic hiatus in 2020, those shows are returning, with the first kicking off in late July, in Bar Harbor. Dozens of juried artists offer fine jewelry, high-end woven wear, beautiful pottery, wood-turned goods, and more at the Bar Harbor Historical Society’s waterfront mansion headquarters. Attendees should expect to find the shows little changed under the Maine Crafts Association’s stewardship, MCA executive director Sadie Bliss says.

“[Guild members] were experts in putting on these shows, and we want to do it in the same way, learn as much as we can, and meet their expectations,” she says. “Craft is a part of all Mainers’ lineage — everybody has craft in our histories. When you care about Maine and the makers there, it circles back to being a wonderful place to live.”

Mount Desert Island: July 24–25. Free. La Rochelle Mansion and Museum, 127 West St., Bar Harbor. Scarborough: September 18–19. $5. Ketcha Outdoors, 336 Black Point Rd. Brunswick: October 23–24. $5. Fort Andross, 14 Maine St. 207-205-0791.