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'Kitschy Crafty Craft Fair' show promises funky, fun items

Date: 5/26/2010

May 26, 2010

By G. Michael Dobbs

Managing Editor

HOLYOKE - A woman who manages heavy metal and punk rock bands may not seem a likely candidate for arts and crafts, but Leah Urbano has been "crafting" for years.

Her work and the work of her crafts group, "The Good, the Bad and the Crafty," will be on display with those of other artists on May 29 at the "Kitschy Crafty Craft Fair" from 11 a.m to 5 p.m. at a show at 450 Race St.

Urbano, who participates in the annual "Stars and Skulls" craft show in Hadley, hopes to stage this show twice a year in Holyoke.

There will be over 25 artists at the show and Urbano described their work as "unique hand made items" from artists ranging from a metalsmith to jewelers to people who sew and crochet.

The items are "different, retro, fun and punky," she said.

Urbano has been crafting for the past 25 years.

"I always did art as a kid," she said. " I picked up every little thing."

Besides managing rock acts, Urbano's company, Crimson Management, also stages Metal Fest and Rock and Shock, a heavy metal and horror film festival.

What do her heavy metal and punk musicians think of her crafting?

"They think it's cool," she said. "A lot of people in heavy metal and punk rock do crafting."

She added, "When I talk about it, they ask me, 'Where do you sell [your work]?'"

Urbano worked for years for the Thomas Kinkade Galleries, first as a gallery manager and then training gallery salespeople. She credits the company for teaching her the skills she has brought to her own company.