Oliver Street Arts Festival Highlights Small Business Owners with Many Passions

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By: Brendan McDonough

Reporter for North Tonawanda

A portion of Oliver Street was closed down this past Saturday and, instead of cars lining the streets, there was art. It’s all part of the annual Oliver Street Festival.

Organizers have been holding the event for the past five years and this year more than sixty vendors from across North Tonawanda participated.

“We have everything,” said Natalie Brown, Event Coordinator, “clothing, paintings, photography, crafts, metal work, and tons more for people to enjoy.

The event was organized by the owners of Project 308 Art Gallery. They say this is the largest number of vendors they have ever had and are pleased that the event is getting bigger and better every year.

An addition to the festival this year was a live band for people to enjoy. To help

Among those attending was Jocelyn Ruscio, who came all the way from Rochester, NY, just to see what it had to offer.

“When I come to an art festival what I look for is not only people’s art, but even the booth and the creativity the artist uses to display their work. I like to see how they have made things and what they have created.”

 

Oliver Street Arts Fest

 

Taking something old and making it new again is what Lindsey Maloney has found a passion in doing. She operated Vintage Sole Designs, which takes old and worn jewelry and turns it into something beautiful.

“I get lots of vintage jewelry from garage sales, estate sales, flea markets and turn it into something amazing again,” said Maloney.

Cindy McCormick, owner of Vintage House Soaps and Scents, said her passion is making people look beautiful on the outside and inside.

“Anything with essential oils is good for the skin and out soaps and the olive oil, it helps keep you both clean and healthy,” said McCormick.

For many, such as Stuart Goodman, the Festival has become an annual tradition. He runs Impress Apparel, which he described as “a unique mix of unusually mixed apparel” (say that three times fast) that you can’t find anywhere else.

“I think art is something that develops people’s minds,” said Goodman, “helps them to be creative and hopefully it will get passed on to the younger generation.”

Haley Wilkins, who runs a small business called ‘We Quilt This City,’ creates all kinds of hand-made stuff for baby’s.

“I think people are really gravitating towards handmade stuff for their baby’s,” said Wilkins. “They know where it came from and who made it.”

The Oliver Street Arts Festival is just a one day event now, but organizers are hoping the art and creativity experienced here today will last a lifetime.

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