Maine Crafts Guild 40th Anniversary

JenniferJennifer Nielsen, Portland jeweler

Maine Crafts Guild’s MDI “Directions” Fine Craft Show is turning 40 this year. The centrally located Mount Desert Island High School on Route 233 in Bar Harbor has been the location of the Directions Show for all four decades. Over the years it has become a celebration of summer for all the townships and summer visitors in the region.  Only once a year (July 24-26), this event is not to be missed if you enjoy fine crafts work inspired by living in Maine.

In 1975 the Maine Crafts Guild was established in a spirit of cooperation with the goal of bringing the finest professional craftspeople together with those who appreciate hand made products. The organization’s commitment to excellence in fine craft has never faltered. Members of the Guild have one thing in common, a passion to create. Some focus on pushing the limits of their work, some on learning traditional methods from the elders of their craft, some are attracted to handwork because of the quality of life it engenders, while others are interested in having a positive cultural impact.

The current “buy local” and “support small business” campaigns seen nationwide are the latest spin on the philosophy the Guild has always embodied and practiced.

Over the years, the Guild, as a membership, volunteer-based organization, has had its share of challenges. While riding the wave of economic ups and downs, the Guild maintains a dynamic membership that is comprised of young journeymen, nationally recognized masters and founding members who continue to show new work—illustrating the perseverance and self-reliance that are integral to surviving as a professional artisan in Maine.

In addition to the customary artful booths and extraordinary work available for sale, attendees of the 40th Anniversary Maine Crafts Guild Directions Show on Mount Desert Island (July 24-26) will be treated to live music, and the extraordinary food of Chef, Amanda Kendall, of Sassafras Catering. Admission: $5 adults; under 18 free. Hours are July 24 from 5 to 8 p.m., July 25 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and July 26 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.