CORTLAND, N.Y. — Wineries and local craft businesses set up shop in Courthouse Park Saturday, displaying an array of handmade foods and crafts while accompanied by local musicians as part of the annual Cortland Arts and Wine Festival.
From talented local artists to blacksmiths and jewelers, there was no lack of diversity for those browsing for their next kitschy fix. For young business owners, the festival provides a new source of income and a way to make their mark in Cortland’s flourishing art community.
Brian and Kristen are one of the many families that set up shop this Saturday at the Cortland Arts and Wine Festival to sell their handmade crafts and share their passion for wine and art.
“We just like to sit around and paint while drinking wine, so we just smashed the two together and came up with these wine glasses,” said Brian, co-owner of Art Happens Here!
When asked if they find it difficult juggling the roles of business owners, parents and artists, Kristen remarked, “The hardest part is the business aspect, and we’re still getting used to that.”
They also take commissioned work for weddings and other events, but festivals are where clients can see their work directly and talk to the artists for a more personal experience, she said.
While patrons were sipping wine and meandering through the booths, The Spencer Sisters could be heard playing their unique take on classical and traditional Celtic music.
The band grew up in the Cortland area and each member maintains a full-time job, though each one agrees that music is their true passion.
“We’ve been playing since we’ve been children, but as a group of sisters performing, it’s been 12 years,” says Sharon, the group’s cellist.
“It started off playing in a church and then people started asking us to play banquets and weddings, so it’s taken off from there.”
With such promising artists and musicians and a successful turnout, the Cortland Arts and Wine Festival will likely continue to be a welcome yearly tradition for Cortland and the surrounding areas.