BY LENNIE BENNETT
Times Art Critic
ST. PETERSBURG — Is it art or is it craft? Talk never seems to end about the differences between the two. Or the similarities. Craft has evolved so much from the old universal acceptance as fine crafts being functional objects made with an exceptional degree of workmanship.
Today, the functional part often doesn't seem as relevant as an emphasis on the materials used to make a piece — wood, clay, fibers or glass, for example. But a lot of art is made with those, too. So the dividing line is thin, if it exists at all.
You'll see how diverse and elastic the word "craft" is at CraftArt 2010 on Saturday and Sunday, when about 150 fine craftsmen bring out their best for the outdoor show. It's organized by Florida Craftsmen, a not-for-profit statewide organization that champions the work of fine craftsmen year-round at its gallery in downtown St. Petersburg.
This two-day event is a bigger roundup that includes craftsmen from around the country, though most are from Florida and members of the organization.
The usual outdoor festival "accessories" will be in play, too: interactive family activities and food vendors plus demonstrations and — nice touch — craft beer tastings.
Craft really has evolved.
Lennie Bennett can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (727) 893-8293.