Pioneer Crafts, Folk Art & More

Material folklore in Arkansas includes southern folk art and homemade crafts, many of which have had both utilitarian and aesthetic purposes. The history, tradition and knowledge of producing those crafts have been preserved at places like the Ozark Folk Center State Park in Mountain View. Here gifted artisans in their 24 shops demonstrate the homestead and pioneer crafts and skills that were essential to the early settlers of these ancient rugged hills.

Numerous Southern artists produce primitive folk art and pioneer crafts remindful of early Americana and country life, such as Frances "Grandma Fran" Brown of Berryville in her oil and watercolor paintings.

Crafts still play a central role in Arkansas as evidenced by the world-renowned arts and local crafts fairs offered every spring and fall throughout the northwest Ozark Mountains.

Arkansas Delta Made represents the Eastern Arkansas artists and craftspeople, which makes their products and services easily available. Check out the Arkansas Delta Made Web site to see what all is available to shoppers.

Local Craft Fairs

More than half a dozen fairs in half a dozen cities showcase homemade crafts during the renowned arts and crafts fairs held annually in the Spring and Fall in Northwest Arkansas. The local craft fairs draw customers, many of whom come back year after year, from all over the United States.

Professional craftsmen produce original and handmade work. The variety of goods offered include weavings to rocking chairs, stained glass to leather work, wreaths to candles, photography to metal working, stoneware to folk art and paintings to musical instruments.

Southern antique dealers also show off some of their fine furnishings and artifacts. Fall decorative items for Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas are plentiful.

Items are displayed at booths in fairgrounds, pavilions, and farmland around the Arkansas Ozarks. A few fairs are indoors. Usually, there is no charge for admission or parking and concessions are available.

Most local craft fairs open at 8 a.m. and end at 5 p.m., although a few have later hours and most end earlier on Sunday. Fairgoers should check local media or the online calendar of events for exact show dates, times and locations. Comfortable shoes are a must. Veteran craft fair patrons also bring tote bags for stowing their handmade finds.

Accommodations are available in nearby cities and advanced reservations are encouraged. Search www.Arkansas.com for lodging and city listings.