An overcast and unusually chilly morning didn’t stop the Fairmount Community Church from hosting its inaugural antique and fine arts show Saturday June 11 at Shove Park.
The idea envisioned by Nancy Kahn, chair of the facilities board, came about after a subtle observation.
“We used to do a craft sale, a garage sale and flea market,” Kahn said, “but it became less attended and just wasn’t doing as well as we hoped … I came up with the idea of an antique show in the first place because it was different.”
Roughly 25 vendors and five demonstrators hailed from across Central New York. From Camillus to Syracuse to Liverpool out to Auburn, many set up shop, bargained and finagled with prospective buyers.
Impeccably dressed mannequins stood astute, showing off vintage threads. Through a camera lens, wildlife suddenly became larger than life. Paintings by Camillus’ Ceil Pigula brought new meaning to a hard day’s work – complete with wine glasses and a bottle of Merlot.
Appraiser Ed Becker, armed with a magnifying glass and medium-sized briefcase, estimated the value of a few people’s timeless objects. Pocket watches, perfume bottles and oversized paintings – nothing was turned down.
“The most satisfying thing really is [spiritual] almost,” said Becker, a certified appraiser since 1974. “I can take an object – many different objects, I’ve had over the years – and put it in my hands, and almost feel the history through my body. It gives me chills sometimes.”
Norine Stephan of East Syracuse, a former nurse, said retirement was a chance to get back to doing what she loved and dabble in the arts.
“When I got married I had no time for painting,” Stephan said. “But I always knew that when I retired, I was going back to painting.”
A photograph of multi-colored kayaks positioned neatly in a circle and a compliment from an interior decorator helped re-launch Stephan’s production of pictures, multi-media paintings and pen and ink drawings.
“An interior decorator asked me about [the picture] when she was in my home,” Stephan said. “She wanted to know who did that picture. She thought it was great. That is what launched me into sharing my pictures with other people.”
Ann Kurtz, a member of the Fairmount Community Church, wasn’t one of the 35 volunteers at the show, but a passionate pressed flower art enthusiast standing behind an elongated table.
“It’s kind of like a disease,” Kurtz said. “I can’t stop doing it. I love to garden. I love to pick and press the flowers.”
The process is simple: a love of flowers and lots of phonebooks. Or, if you’re like Kurtz, a microwave press works faster and more efficiently.
Once pressed, put them in absorbent tissue, keep flat and preserve in telephone books, Kurtz said.
“I got telephone books stacked around and they’re all by color,” she said. “I got them all labeled. They are usually in the pages or in big envelopes.”
Kahn noted that surveys would be passed out and answered at the end of the day by the vendors.
“We certainly hope that we can continue to do this next year and also have it here [at Shove Park],” Kahn said. “We are putting out a survey this afternoon. It depends a lot on the vendors’ comments. I think that’s important – to add more interest and to do something different.”