Huge Art Market in Riverside Gardens: 7th Annual Hermitage Handmade Festival This Saturday

by | Sep 14, 2022

Picture this: cool breezes from the river, standout architecture, bumping beats, wafts of pizza, and a legion of curated handmade artists and crafters. That’s what organizers say is in store for this Saturday when The Hermitage Handmade Festival returns for its 7th year.

Tucked behind the Lochhaven neighborhood along the Elizabeth River, a sprawling campus of gardens surrounds one of Norfolk’s most significant estates. The Hermitage Museum and Gardens, formerly home to the Sloane family, features a grand Arts-and-Crafts mansion, 12 acres of manicured botanicals, and a nationally recognized art collection that spans five millennia of art history. The museum is part of the prestigious Smithsonian Affiliations program, recognizing best-in-class institutions. 

Those credentials make for feverish anticipation for their Annual Hermitage Handmade Festival. The festival is one of the few juried markets on the east coast, with artists, crafters, and creators hand-selected for the event. Eighty-five artists will showcase their craft with wares for sale in a broad array of categories. The selection includes candles, ceramics, drawing, decor, fiber, flowers, glass, jewelry, leather, macrame, painting, paper arts, printmaking, resin, soap, wellness products, woodwork, and more. Repeat attendees will be pleased to hear that many crowd favorites are returning, while several new artisans are also on the lineup. The complete list of vendors is available here

Christine Redel, the owner of Norfolk gift shop Kitsch, will be mingling between the tents within the crowd of shoppers. She’s this year’s judge, and she’ll be on the hunt for the best of the best. Their task is to award three cash prizes (plus Kitsch gift cards): First Place, Second Place, and Best Display.

Throughout the day, attendees can also explore the Hermitage’s current special exhibit: Roberto Lugo: Pottery with Purpose. The works of Lugo are renowned for their integration of classical motifs and subject matter from contemporary culture and politics. His ceramic work reflects his multicultural and BIPOC experiences while examining current and historical figures in a new light. 

Alongside the fantastic art and market, the festival features live music, pop-up activities, and refreshments. Peep the DJ will fill the air with expertly curated beats while Hades Wood Fired Pizza, Yolees’ G-Dawgz, and Joysicles cover the food. Lil Truck of Tools will host a creative space for those eager to try their hand at creative work, and Fairy Hair by Chelsea will offer mystical hair additions to all. 

You can expect the event to bring out huge crowds, so special parking accommodations are available; however, there will be no parking inside the gates of the Hermitage. Attendees are encouraged to catch the complimentary shuttle from WHRO at 5200 Hampton Blvd., Larchmont Library at 6525 Hampton Blvd., and Second Presbyterian Church at 7305 Hampton Blvd. 

The event runs 11 am – 4 pm and is free to the public. 

Get all the details here. 

Paul Stetson Rice

Chelsea, NFK

Paul is the creator of He was born and raised in Norfolk, graduated from Virginia Tech, and narrowly avoided law school. Chat with him about economics, entrepreneurship, hip-hop, and hiking. When he's not working on five different projects, you'll catch him sharing a beer with friends at a local brewery.

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