Crazy crifters

(Editor’s note: Please call or go online as many events are being posponed due to COVID-19.)

Twice a year, the grounds of Lyndhurst in Tarrytown are filled with hundreds of artists and artisans showcasing their work.

And when the next edition of Spring Crafts at Lyndhurst opens May 1, visitors can also expect a virtual menagerie.

But there’s no need to fear any mayhem. No, the animal presence will be confined to the imagery found throughout the jewelry, fashions, art and decorative work offered by the nearly 300 exhibitors.

There will be leopard-print handbags from New York-based Arzadesign along with vivid paintings of creatures ranging from her signature wolves to whales, owls and raccoons by Elaine Thompson, whose studio is in the Shawangunk Mountains of the lower Catskills.

As shared on Thompson’s website, her oil paintings “tell a story of peace, love and that magical place called home. Having always felt a connection to the wilderness and the spirit of nature, especially in the places she has called home, she came to create the larger-than-life wolf and little-footed house. Elaine hopes that simple, sweet moments between these two characters will remind viewers of the people and places that make their hearts and imaginations feel free.”

In addition, there will be delicate depictions of birds in watercolors by Rhode Island artist Holly Wach and, by contrast, bold works by Nature’s Sake Photography, which features the creations of James Rodewald. His “Animal Abstracts” invites the viewer to pause and reflect — through intensely up-close views — on the textures of fur, feathers and hides.

Meanwhile, Jeanine Pennell’s Bonetown Studio sculptures put a whimsical spin on a variety of creatures, with fanciful animals, from ram to Pegasus to rabbit, again realized in the ceramic sculptures of Polish-born, New York-based artist Margaret Wozniak.

Sephi Itzhaki’s ArtZooo ornamental steel art, crafted in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, offers artful takes on the everyday in intricate metal sculptures peppered with birds and dogs, ducks, cats, fish, butterflies and more.

And for those looking for another bold statement, Seth Michael Studio’s jewelry artist Seth Carlson is set to showcase his memorable designs — think a decidedly industrial spin on insects and beyond — to offer yet another view of the animal kingdom.

It’s all quite natural, says Jackie Jarit Sobel, the director of Artrider Productions, which has been producing Crafts at Lyndhurst for some 35 years.

“A majority of the population loves animals — as pets or otherwise,” she says. “When you bring an animal home as a pet, it becomes a member of your family. They are a part of your experiences — your loss, your love, your life — all the big moments and the small ones in between. So owning an item (craft or otherwise) that depicts a beloved pet is meaningful, special and sentimental.”

But it goes far beyond dogs, cats and birds, Sobel adds.

“The more obscure or rare animals are a mystery to most people. They make you want to know more about them,” she says. “They become desired and coveted. Also, rare animals tend to be beautiful and unique and/or have beautiful and unique qualities, like the color of a flamingo, the grace of a horse or the pattern of a leopard’s fur. This transfers to the continuous purchase of craft depicting animals, because we love to have beautiful items in our lives — in our homes and on our bodies.”

Spring Crafts at Lyndhurst is stated to be held May 1 through 3 at Lyndhurst in Tarrytown. For more, visit artrider.com.

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