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Arts and Wine fest a tastemaker

Annual event draws hundreds to Courthouse Park in Cortland

Joe McIntyre/staff photographer

Jacob Veintimilla, 4, of Cortland, tries on a pirate’s hooked hand he made from tin foil and a plastic cup while at the Arts and Wine Festival in Courthouse Park in Cortland.

A pirate-themed board was the perfect pick for Joshua Veintimilla as he filled in the drawing of a skull with red paint.

“I love them because they have one eyepatch and a hook as a hand sometimes,” the 7-year-old said Saturday at the Arts and Wine Festival at Courthouse Park in Cortland. Veintimilla set up camp at the children’s art tent, where kids could go beyond seeing what other artists did and become the artists, themselves.

The festival draws hundreds of people and features local artistry, food and art — paintings, photography, pieces and music — raising money for the Cultural Council of Cortland County.

With 45 vendors this year, the festival is growing, said council President David Beale, on hand to help with the judging. More important, he added, it’s a good way for artists to publicize their art.

For Rachel Carter, who does custom creations and gifts, building new clientele is exactly why she decided to participate. Carter began making printed wine and mug glasses after she bought a dye-cut machine to make wedding decorations. The wedding ideas didn’t work out, but she decided one day to try a design on a wine glass. From there it was history, she said, waving her had at the table lined with glasses and mugs.

The wine-tasting tent nearby helped business, she said. “I’m getting that crowd plus others,” she said.

The event also gives her a chance to see what people are interested in.

“I’ve listened over the years to what people want,” she said. That’s how she got the idea to incorporate police and firefighter designs on beer mugs.

For Crystal Lyon, the festival gave her an opportunity to remind people of her upcoming art project: a three-story mural, on the side of the former Cortland Corset Building on East Court Street. The 150-year old building started as a wagon company before moving into corsets. The mural will feature a large wagon wheel in the background; in the foreground will be a woman wearing a corset, goggles on her head and artwork on her arms. Lyon called the theme “steampunk” — an industrial historic look.

She was dressed as the mural, donning a hand-made Victorianstyle dress in black and white, with painted tattoos and a plastic white dragon on her shoulder. The mural will be revealed Sept. 29, the same day as a showcase of all the businesses in the building.

For Sherry Dans, who has been doing photography for 25 years, the festival helps open people’s eyes to the world and how she sees it. Dans has taken many photos ranging from a rainbow seen from a hilltop road to a snow owl perched on a mound of snow.

“I just do what I like and hope that people see what I see,” Dans said.

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