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31st Annual Western Reserve Academy Antique Festival Returns to Hudson

UPublish story by Carol Morgan

Some of the buildings on the campus at the Western Reserve Academy in the city of Hudson. (Ed Suba Jr./Akron Beacon Journal file photo)

HUDSON, OH, June 26, 2012—Top antique experts and family-friendly activities will enrich the day for thousands of shoppers at Northeastern Ohio’s premier antiques festival on Labor Day, September 3, 2012. This year, the 31st annual Antiques Festival will host a full slate of outstanding speakers, as well as a car show, floral designer, musicians and artists. Walking tours offer a rare, behind the scenes glimpse of the historic 19th-century buildings of Western Reserve Academy (WRA). “We wanted to create a complete experience for shoppers, so that they can learn about antiques and home and floral design, all while finding the perfect piece to add to their own home decor,” says Festival co-chair Kristine Fellows.

The speakers offer unique perspectives on antiques and home decor. Michael Bennett, curator of Greek and Roman Art at the Cleveland Museum of Art (CMA), will tell stories of the priceless antique objects in the museum’s exhibits. Louis Adrean, Senior Librarian for Research and Public Programs at the CMA, will explain the many resources available for researching the decorative arts and antiques. Floral designer Senor Frank Perez has travelled from Mexico to demonstrate the art and style of floral arrangements. Archivist Tom Vince of WRA will lead guided walking tours of the Academy’s “Brick Row,” the Chapel, the nation’s second-oldest observatory (Loomis Observatory), and other areas not usually open to the public. And “happiness expert” and author Jack Ricchiuto will offer timeless secrets to living joyfully.

As always, the heart of the Festival is the opportunity to browse the wares of 100 of the region’s finest antiques dealers, some of whom travel from as far as Indiana and South Carolina for this major antiques event. With streets closed off for the Festival, visitors will stroll down lanes of booths, as 19th-century fairgoers did, to peruse exceptional, handcrafted furniture from the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries as well as vintage arts and collectibles. The day offers the region’s top selection of antique and vintage Americana, and shoppers will choose among silver and gold jewelry, fine porcelain and crystal, linens, Oriental rugs, folk art and fine art, antique implements, and garden statues. Automobile aficionados will steer toward a vintage car exhibit, displaying classic and vintage cars that have been lovingly restored to their original brilliance. Strolling Irish musicians, plein air water-colorists painting the scene, and gourmet refreshments complete a refreshing visit into the world of yesteryear.

Antique pieces complement every décor, notes dealer and designer Mitchell Sotka of Rocky River, who combines Old World charm with a modern twist. In new homes, for example, he says, “there is often an absence of detail, which allows personality to be added to the space through your belongings. By punctuating space with antique items, you’ve taken that neutral and created something special that identifies your personality.” Long-time dealer Margaret Martinez of Martines’ Antiques in Chagrin Falls adds that, “This is a very good time to buy antiques.” She has been bringing her antique flatware of sterling silver and gold to the festival for 31 years. “The market is still wide open now,” she says. “You might be at the right place, at the right time.” This year, among other valuable pieces, Martinez is bringing an Old Sheffield Plate English soup tureen, hand rolled sterling on copper, dating from 1810 to 1830.

One set of beautiful antique jewelry may be won for as little as $5: The Festival will raffle off an elegant freshwater baroque pearl necklace, with antique locket, amethyst-colored watch fob and pearl charm, together with a complementary baroque pearl bracelet. Raffle tickets are only $5 each.

The festival takes place, rain or shine, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the center of Western Reserve Academy’s historic campus at the intersection of College and Chapel Streets, in Hudson, Ohio, 44236. General admission for adults is $8.00, and under 18 are admitted free. Serious collectors can get a head start on finding the day’s rarest treasures beginning at 8:30 a.m. with preview tickets (good all day), available for $15.00. See attached fact sheet for more details.

All tickets can be bought in advance online at; purchased at downtown Hudson locations; or bought at the gates on the day of the show. Parking is free, and the festival is a short stroll from the “Taste of Hudson” event held that day in the city’s downtown.

The 31st Annual Western Reserve Academy Antiques Festival is sponsored by the Pioneer Women’s Association of Western Reserve Academy, a nonprofit organization comprised of the mothers of past and present WRA students, alumnae, and other friends of the school. Founded in 1826, WRA is the ninth oldest boarding school in the nation, and its 400 students hail from across the United States and 14 foreign countries.

For more information and a complete schedule of the day’s events, visit

For more information on WRA, please visit:

For more information on the Cleveland Museum of Art and its antique experts, please visit:

Make it Chic With an Antique !


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