45th Melrose Arts and Crafts Festival is April 6-7

Photo of the 2018 festival by Hannah Richardson

The Melrose Arts and Crafts Festival turns 45 this year! More than 100 vendors will display their wares beneath the gorgeous live oak trees of Melrose April 6-7.

Among the items available to visitors will be original art works, stained glass, gourmet pickles and jellies, hand-made jewelry, clothing, photographs, plants, toys, woodworking products, wrought iron artwork, pottery and many other arts and crafts.

Tours of the plantation home, the “Big House,” will be available, with guides. Many renowned writers and artists visited and lived at the plantations. Probably the best known resident of Melrose was Clementine Hunter, who came to the plantation as a field hand and taught herself to paint using paints and brushes discarded by an artist at Melrose. The restored Clementine Hunter murals have been returned to their original home on the second floor of the African House. Hunter’s paintings have gained national and international notoriety, and some of her works hang in the Louvre in Paris. She is one of the most recognized primitive artists in Louisiana history.

This year will include a children’s art workshop and a juried art contest for high school students. NSU students will provide a student exhibition of art. Ceramic demonstrations by NSU graduate students, James Stringer, Millard Mangrum and NSU professors Patrick Ramke and Art DeFord will again feature the art of ceramics.

The festival is sponsored by APHN and annually attracts more than 2,000 visitors during the two-day event. The Melrose Arts and Crafts Festival will open at 9 a.m. on Saturday and at 10 a.m. on Sunday. Tickets are $5 for adults and $2 for children ages 6-12. Tickets for tours of the Big House are $5. Self-guided tours of the grounds and viewing of all the historic buildings are free.

Additional information about Melrose Plantation and the annual Arts and Crafts Festival may be found at www.melroseplantation.org.