Tennessee Association of Craft Artists show opens May 7

The Tennessee Association of Craft Artists (TACA) will be holding its 39th annual craft fair May 7-9 at Centennial Park.

The event, which will feature a demonstration tent and discussions by various artisans and organizations related to the methods and processes used to create the works on display. The Tennessee Association of Woodturners and LifeWorks Empty Bowls project will lead some of the events, which also will highlight the Lost Boys Foundation of Nashville as demonstrators.

“As one of the founding board members of the Lost Boys Foundation of Nashville, I have been a supporter and a fan of these talented boys and their commitment to fine craft throughout the years,” said Elaine Wood, executive director of TACA. “It is with great pride that we are hosting them as one of our primary demonstrating artists.”

The Lost Boys Foundation was established in 2004. The brainchild of photographer Jack Spencer, the group was created to reunify the roughly 150 young men who survived the civil war in southern Sudan and are now living in Nashville. With the recent tragic death of Malith Wiek, a member of Lost Boys, the foundation is working harder now more than ever to raise further understanding about the plight of this group.

“Having the opportunity to participate in the TACA craft fair will help generate awareness of the struggles these young men are still facing since being separated from their families,” explained Lois Moreno, president of the Lost Boys Foundation of Nashville.

Members of the group will demonstrate the techniques associated with their hand-built clay pieces in this educational component of the twice-yearly event.
Along with painting and photography, clay has long been a medium explored by this group. With roots in the cattle camps where many of these young men lived as children, the small hand built clay cows created are now recognized as the symbol of the Lost Boys of Sudan. More of the work created by the Lost Boys Foundation of Nashville can be found at 545 4th Avenue South.

“Our organization is constantly struggling to raise funds to assist these young men,” Ms. Moreno says. “The TACA event will help us to let many more thousands of people know about these wonderful young men and how much the donations are needed.”

In addition, TACA has partnered with The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee and Second Harvest Food Bank to provide opportunities for visitors to donate to victims of last weekend's disastrous floods in Nashville and Middle Tennessee. TACA and the Community Foundation, via NowPlayingNashville.com, will serve as a collection site for donations via cash, checks and credit cards, while Second Harvest will have drop boxes onsite for canned goods and nonperishable items. Most needed, according to the agency, are peanut butter, canned fruit and canned meat

TACA features more than 160 fine craft artists from across the state. Artists will be on site and craft available for purchase from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday and from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. on Sunday. Parking and admission are free and open to the public. For more information, click here.

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