Friday, September 2, 2011


Be sure to mark your calendar for the 29th annual, fall 2011 Country Folk Art Festival, to be held at the Kane County Fairgrounds in St. Charles, Illinois on September 23, 24, & 25.

As in past years, award-winning artisans and craftsmen as featured in Early American Life Magazine and other popular publications will be presenting the very finest reproductions of American antique furniture and accessories, historic replicas, and contemporary folk art as well as some original antiques.

Returning to the show will be master woodcarvers Tony Costanza, Tom Kelly, and Ed Pribyl. Also returning will be popular country furniture maker John Bachman and Windsor chair maker Jim Van Hoven, plus a wonderful new addition, American Heritage Reproductions from St. Charles, Missouri with their vast selection of furniture & accessories.

Vaillancourt Folk Art from Massachusetts will be here again presenting their highly popular reproduction chalkware figures including Christmas Santa’s. Alan Baker will offer his highly imaginative folk art gourd creations.

In addition to the aforementioned artisans and craftsmen, there will literally be something for everyone in almost every imaginable category, with the always hard-to-find decorative accessories, including floorcloths, paper mache figures, quilts, textiles, watercolor paintings, Christmas things, and much more!

And if you’ve seen any of the ABC National Evening News Shows the past month or so, they have focused a number of their programs on the theme “Made in America!” If you think “Made in America” is a good thing, you won’t want to miss the Country Folk Art Festival, featuring only things made in America and presented by the talented artisans and craftsmen who made them.

The Country Folk Art Festival offers an unparalleled opportunity to augment your existing home décor or to begin a whole new decorating trend! Don’t miss the only show of its type in the Midwest!

The fall Country Folk Art Festival will open on Friday Evening, September 23 with a Preview from 6 PM to 10PM, admission $8. It will continue on Saturday, September 24, from 10 AM to 5 PM, admission $6. The show will conclude on Sunday, September 25, from 11 AM to 4 PM, with a special final-day admission of $4.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Fall 2011 Show News!

We are pleased to announce that our Country Folk Art Festival Show has been sold to Illinois artisan and show promoter, Robin Reed and her family. Although there will not be a spring show this year, Robin will be continuing the Country Folk Art Festival this fall at the Kane County Fairgrounds in St. Charles, Illinois on the weekend of September 23, 24, & 25, 2011.

We will be assisting Robin and her family with plans for the upcoming September show, keeping the focus as in the past 28 years, on our goal of featuring the nation's finest award-winning artisans and craftsmen.

Please stay tuned and check out the "Blogs" on our website for additional details. In the very near future, we will provide a direct link to Robin's website.

Judy and Lee Marks

Thursday, August 26, 2010

28th Annual Country Folk Art Festival is Almost Here!

Holy Moly! Summer’s almost over and our fall Country Folk Art Festival is fast approaching! We’ll be holding our 28th annual show at the Kane County Fairgrounds in St. Charles, Illinois, on September 17, 18, & 19, 2010, one week earlier than usual.

You won’t want to miss one of our best shows ever! We’ll be introducing Mary Heneghan, with her amazing reproductions of historic, early American tavern signs, many of which were featured in the book, Lions & Eagles & Bulls, Early American Tavern & Inn Signs, published by the Connecticut Historical Society in 2000. We’re thrilled to announce that Anne Childs, one of the most talented folk art painters in the country will be returning to the show this fall. Anne’s originals are meticulous copies of the originals which she places in antique frames, offering an incredible opportunity for antique collectors who have been unable to find the originals, to augment their collections with Anne’s creations.

Renowned folk artist and author, Will Moses will return with his charming New England folk art paintings, children’s books and Christmas cards.

Back by popular demand, popular Windsor chair-maker, Jim Van Hoven will be building a child’s Windsor chair at the show. Jim has also promised some new and exciting product additions to his presentation.

Furniture-makers John Bachman and Don Kates will be bringing a tempting selection of Shaker, formal, and country painted furniture pieces, any one of which would serve to enrich your interior décor! Peggy Teich will feature her wonderfully “folky” hooked rugs which can add a dramatic decorative touch as a special wall hang, and Jane Theobald will be back presenting the artistry of her handmade Nantucket baskets.

Our presentation of master woodcarvers is the best in the country, featuring Tony Costanza, Ed Pribyl, Vernon DePauw and James Neill. You’ll also find choice examples of historic Halloween & Christmas chalkware figures presented by Vaillancourt Folk Art of Massachusetts and Michael Wollett from Wisconsin.

ASL Pewter will return with their outstanding reproductions of period pieces as well as contemporary interpretations. Jain Faries will present her always popular, hand-woven textiles. SJ Pottery will offer a wonderful selection of their handmade redware and scraffito pottery, along with salt-glazed stoneware, an all-time favorite of our customers as one of the most desirable categories of country accent pieces.

See you at the show!

Judy & Lee Marks

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

September, 2010 Country Folk Art Festival

Exciting plans are underway for our 28th annual fall Country Folk Art Festival, to be held at the Kane County Fairgrounds in St. Charles, Illinois on September 17, 18, & 19, 2010. Once again our show will be in the new convention center, which, believe it or not has finally been given a name! It will now be known as “The Prairie Events Center.”

Please note that our fall show is being held one week earlier than normal.

Our passion for presenting the very finest Americana in the nation will be much in evidence as many of our regular, multi-talented artisans and craftsmen return for the fall show and a number of new exhibitors join us for the first time. We’ve got some special surprises planned for our Friday Evening Opening, with details to come as our plans are finalized.

And if you’ve never attended one of our shows don’t let our Country Folk Art Festival name fool you. There will be plenty of exceptional contemporary folk art to be sure, but there will also be outstanding reproductions of American antique furniture as well as a huge selection of impossible-to-find decorative accessories and historic replicas, including pottery, rugs, textiles, pewter and a host of other categories to help you enhance your interior décor! All items are handmade in America and presented by the actual artisans and craftsmen who made them! Since the wonderfully unique creations found at our shows are not available in stores, many people shop our show for special Christmas, anniversary, and birthday gifts.

In addition to a number of our participating artisans decorating their show booths with antiques and offering them for sale, some antiques dealers will be joining us too. We will also be featuring some “outsider” artwork with a little more of a contemporary flair.

Be sure to mark your calendar and plan to attend the show that Early American Life Magazine named as one of the finest Americana shows in the nation!

For additional background information about our show, please read our prior “Blogs” which will provide many more details as to what we’re all about! Stay tuned and watch for more upcoming “Blogs” as plans continue to unfold for the September show.

Lee & Judy Marks

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Kane County Fall Show Just Around the Corner

Fall is definitely in the air, and we’re gearing up for our 27th annual Country Folk Art Festival on September 25, 26, & 27 at the Kane County Fairgrounds in St. Charles, Illinois. We thought it a good time to bring you up to date on some of the new & returning talented artisans and craftsmen who will be joining us this fall.

Mt. Prospect artisan Robin Thompson will be offering her exquisitely crafted museum-quality miniature dolls and painted furniture; Michigan folk artist George Thomas will present an incredible display of African-American folk art; Pennsylvania artisans Jeff & Cathy Graybill will offer an amazing selection of painted furniture, tavern signs and painted toleware; Brent & Christa Baribeau from Reading, Michigan are bringing their wonderful wood carvings, folk art, & paintings; Terry Graber with papier mache & paintings; Dan Sigler’s birdhouses; Judy Senk’s teddy bears; Cheryl Decker’s whimsical gourd dolls; Michele MacGill & Nancy Whitmore with papier mache & paintings on wood; plus more to come!

Returning to the show is Kristy Mueller with her zany & fun folk art surprises. Also back for the fall show is Deane Green of Mineral Point, Wisconsin with her wonderful Christmas feather trees and outstanding painted chalkware!

Don’t forget our great homemade food & refreshments by Gene and Joe Heriaud, who offer a vast array of delicious hot and cold foods for lunch or dinner. Yum!

We’ll close for now with a recent comment from one of our long-time customers. “I’ve enjoyed attending your shows for years and I continue to be amazed at the consistent quality & incredible selection of hand-crafted furniture & decorative accessories.”

Watch for more “Blogs” to come with additional information on the participating artisans & craftsmen as well as details on special lectures & events at the show. Be sure to mark your calendar!

Lee & Judy Marks

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Fall Country Folk Art Festival Shaping Up!

It’s a beautiful mid-summer day here in Chicagoland and a good time to do some “blogging” as excitement builds for our Country Folk Art Festival on September 25, 26, & 27 at the Kane County Fairgrounds in St. Charles, Illinois.

We’re pleased to say that we will be presenting one of the finest and most diverse shows in many a year, with many of your favorite artisans returning to the show, plus some exceptional first-time exhibitors. Joining us for the first time will be Anne Childs, a multi-talented artisan who will startle you with her incredibly fine reproductions of folk portraiture. Anne’s paintings are a perfect way to augment your antiques collection!

Joining Anne will be an artisan who hasn’t been with us for the past few’s Dan DiPaolo, who’s company name is “Fried Green Tomatoes.” Dan’s whimsical characters have always solicited rave reviews. In fact they were so popular that he often sold out at our Friday night opening! Dan is featured in the August issue of Country Living Magazine. We welcome you back to the show Dan!

Another very talented lady who has never exhibited at our Illinois show will be joining us in September. Her name is Jane Theobald, and she is one of the finest makers of Nantucket baskets in the country!

As always at our fall show, popular folk artist and author Will Moses, great-grandson of the renowned artist Grandma Moses, will make a personal appearance presenting his brand new children’s book “Raspberries,” and his charming New England folk art paintings., both of which he will be happy to sign for customers.

One of our special features will be a free presentation on antique quilts entitled “American Quilts – A Woman’s Art” by Cease Giddings, owner of FolkWorks Gallery in Evanston, Illinois, in the second floor meeting room on Saturday, September 26 at 2:00 p.m. Following her talk, Cease will appraise antique quilts, with a limit of two, for $10 each, with proceeds benefiting Evanston History Center.

On Sunday, September 27, the final day of the show, Tom and Pat Hooper of ASL Pewter in Louisiana, Missouri will offer a free presentation entitled “Pewter, An American Icon.” at 1:00 p.m. in the second floor meeting room. Tom and Pat supplied all of the pewter used in last year’s HBO Special, “John Adams.” After their talk they will raffle off a pewter inkwell. The Hooper’s offer a wonderful selection of authentic reproduction pewter as well as contemporary pieces.

Be sure to mark your calendar and join us for our September show. If you’ve never attended you’ll be absolutely amazed at what you find, from wonderful handmade furniture, to reproductions of American antiques, contemporary folk art, Halloween and Christmas items, to historic replicas, all presented by the award-winning artisans and craftsmen who produced them! You’ll also find the most incredible selection of hard-to-find decorative accessories plus some original antiques, all to make your interior décor come alive!

And yes, there is literally something for everyone in a wide variety of price ranges. People not only shop the Country Folk Art Festival for themselves, they also purchase gifts for Christmas, weddings, anniversaries, and birthdays, finding a most unique selection of things that can’t buy in stores.

You won’t want to miss our fall show, it’s shaping up to be a real “barnburner!” Stay tuned for more “Blogs!”

Lee & Judy Marks

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

September, 2009 Country Folk Art Festival

We’ve had a lot of positive feedback on the “blogs” that we ran in advance of our March show, with people saying that they were enjoyable to read, providing interesting background on the various artisans as well as specific information as to the type of merchandise that one could expect to find at our shows. So on with the “blogs!

Many folks who have never attended one of our shows and who have come across our website, will phone us asking just what our shows are all about. So for all who wonder just what we’re up to, here are some tidbits for your perusal. People who attend our shows tell us they have literally been “blown away” at what they’ve seen! They’ve found an eclectic selection of handmade furniture and decorative accessories that they’ve never seen anywhere else. Many of these same people, including our younger customers, said the things they’ve found at our shows have solicited rave reviews and enabled them to totally transform their interior décor and establish a refreshing new look. Their homes no longer look like everyone else in the neighborhood!

And for the guys out there who wouldn’t be caught dead at a craft show, you can relax and eliminate those thoughts completely! It’s perfectly okay to tag along with your wife or girlfriend. In fact, when you see our show we’re sure you’ll be hooked! We’re not your typical craft show that you can find anywhere in the country on a given weekend with the same repetitive and boring merchandise. In fact, we’re not a craft show at all. What we are is a wonderfully unique Americana show featuring the finest award-winning artisans and craftsmen offering an incredibly diverse selection of handmade furniture and accent pieces. And it’s all handmade in America and presented by the individual craftsmen who made it. No imports! No mass-produced merchandise! No gift-show items!

Excitement is definitely brewing here at the home office! It’s a cold, rainy spring day, but our plans for the fall Country Folk Art Festival on September 25, 26, & 27 at the Kane County Fairgrounds in St. Charles, Illinois are well underway, and we are incredibly enthused with much good news to date. Many of the artisans and craftsmen who were unable to participate in our March show will be joining us this fall, along with some the past masters who haven’t been with us for quite some time. In addition, we’ll be presenting some brand new, recently discovered, highly talented individuals who have never exhibited with us before.

Returning to the show after a long absence will be Dan and Marlene Coble with their amazing examples of painted furniture; folk artist, Tom Kelly with his imaginative, funky carvings; Mike Naylor and Trudy Close with their dried florals and folk art, plus a sampling of original antiques; Mike (Michelle) Ochonicky with her hand-etched scrimshaw; Carole Behrer with her scherenschnitte (historic scissor cuttings) and theorems, plus a number of others!

Watch for many more “blogs” to come with additional details about our show and its participants.

Lee & Judy Marks