Artists Feeling Fine About Old Town

Artists Feeling Fine About Old Town

Arts and Crafts Fair draws strong repeat business.

Julie Christenberry doesn't like having to compete with antiquities and imports when she's showing her wares at a fair. "I tend to go for shows where everything is handmade, which is a very different market than when you mix in flea market things," said the D.C.-based artist. "You're there to meet the artist and interact."

She will be one of 50 artists featured at the 2006 Old Town Fine Arts and Crafts Fair, scheduled rain or shine for Saturday May 13 and Sunday May 14 at Market Square, 301 King Street. Saturday's fair runs from 1 - 6 p.m., while Sunday's will run from 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. Admission is free.

The event features artists selling everything from jewelry to watercolors to home and garden decor. There is also food and live music on both days. A full schedule of acts and artists can be found on

TINA DALE is another artist coming to the event. She did the show last year for the first time. "I found it to be a very fun show. Just to be in the heart of Old Town. Out of town as well as locals. People seem to know about the show which is always a good sign," she said.

The Burke artist primarily sells at Eastern Market in D.C., but she does around 12 shows a year. Dale designs her own handbags and belts, blending fabric and leather. Her lines can be viewed on

She said started out making bags for friends several years ago. "It started out as a hobby that exploded into a business," she said.

JENNIFER EUBANK is the designer and founder of Designs, and will also take part in the Old Town crafts fair.

It's the Arlington-based artist's second time attending the show. "It's a good show, well-attended. That's a really high-traffic area. Old Town is an old favorite. Especially because they have music and food included," she said.

She sells all homemade jewelry, with long-drop earrings, triple-strand necklaces and designer rings. Eubank uses freshwater pearls and natural gemstones. She said she threads the stones several times with sterling silver wire, a trademark aspect of her work.

Her Web site,, will have e-commerce options incorporated soon. Eubanks said this is the way the tide is turning for modern artists.

"These shows that artists are doing, they don't do as well as they did 10 years ago," she said. "More and more people are doing internet shopping. I'm creating that site to keep a hold on my repeat customers."

JANINE WILSON brings her band and their bluesy roots rock to open the musical portion of the Old Town Fine Arts and Crafts Fair. Wilson goes on first on Saturday afternoon, 1:30 p.m.

Wilson said she's been performing since 1990, and along the way has carved out a following with performances at clubs like Iota and the State Theater.

Wilson and the band will open for Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes at the Birchmere on June 16.

CHRISTENBERRY, COMING to the fair for the second year, just started a new jewelry line to go along with her designer fabric bags. "Found by Julie Christenberry Designs" features hand-made pieces made from materials she finds, like coral and sea glass. She uses sterling silver, stainless steel, copper and beads to create one-of-a-kind pieces that retail between $45 and $89. A full list can be found on