Fair Harbor’s Pine Walk Fair Turns 45

By Jaimie FranchiThe 45th annual Fair Harbor Pine Walk Fair, taking place Saturday, July 1, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., is a much-anticipated Fire Island experience for this relatively small community. Featuring globally-recognized artisans, it will offer fine art, clothing, notecards, mosaic trays, jewelry, and weathered signs. Baby quilts, vintage sunglasses, totes, Fire Island T-shirts and more will also be available for purchase to benefit the Fair Harbor Community Fund.“The Pine Walk Fair began when three young women, all extremely creative, decided to sell their wares on Pine Walk, near the ocean. It grew each year and several community projects were funded with the profits – as they still are today,” says founder Helen Kornblau. “After the first 10 years, our event grew exponentially. It had so many attendees that the Fire Department requested its relocation to the public areas of the town. Yes, it was relocated – but we couldn’t resist retaining its name.”Promotional posters surrounding the area are the work of award-winning digital artists Jane Sklar and Max Cartegena, who have been donating their talent and expertise to the Pine Walk Fair posters for the last four years. Discovered by Fair Harbor community volunteer Kornblau, Sklar’s and Cartegena’s unique artwork serves as a preview for the outstanding artwork to come at the event.Recent first place winners of Best Mixed Media in the Washington Square Outdoor Art Exhibit in Manhattan, Sklar and Cartegena mix original photography with digital art to create one-of-a-kind creations that are both personal and modern. Neither residents of Fire Island, nor renters, the artists were invited to participate based on the quality of their combined artwork. The Fair Harbor community embraced the posters.“People like the fact that we do this for free,” Sklar told Fire Island News in a phone interview. “We’ve become like an adopted member of the community. People were intrigued with the art process. They loved what we were doing, using photography in our digital art.”Sklar and Cartegena have been represented, both together and independently, in galleries in New York and New Jersey. Winning more than 21 awards, including four first place wins in Washington Square, their innovative techniques go beyond the industry standard of Photoshop, using older computers and unmatched imagination.“We’ve been welcomed every year to this show,” Sklar said.Vendors at the walk will include Katherine Kornblau, whose artwork is currently sold at the Smithsonian Museum in Washington D.C. and the British Museum in Europe; and Claudia Gill who makes mosaic trays, umbrellas, and accessories. Barbara and Jennifer Thorpe with popular baby quilts and accessories will also be there. And of course Kenny Goodman, longtime Fire Island resident and jewelry store owner in Ocean Beach, will be selling his signature silver pieces, known to the region as “Kennys.” Goodman has been selling his wares at this event since the very beginning, more than 40 years ago.“It’s a necessary community activity,” Kornblau told Fire Island News. “It’s a day of fun and food.”The fair will offer a silent auction with fantastic restaurants, sports, theater and concert tickets, cases of wine, dog training, a golf foursome, and more. The rain date is July 2.