Here’s an idea: what if there were a place where antiques and vintage ephemera shared a space with consigned artwork, and one could buy something custom-made for one’s home there or take a workshop in that space to learn how to make that object? Design and construction services would be offered, and a live streaming TV show could be generated from the place. And, why not add activities for kids… maybe puppet theatre?
“Our plan is to make it an interactive experience,” says Ina Kramer of the new “Renaissance: An Artisan’s Showcase and Home Design Centre” she opened last month with business partners Tracy and Joseph Del Villar at One Old Route 299 in New Paltz.
Kramer is a lifelong artist who splits her time between New York City, where she produces the Rx Club — which honors healthcare advertisers who use creativity to get their message across — and New Paltz, where she’s lived for the past three years.
She’s also the former president of the Puppetry Guild in the city. Kramer makes collaged story masks that are available at “Renaissance,” and she plans to offer puppet workshops for kids in the area in the new space at some point. “Puppet theater is really good for kids who are shy,” she says. “It gives them a way to express themselves but they can remain behind a mask.”
Plans are in the works to have some of the artisans whose work is in the shop give classes in knitting and sewing along with other craft techniques, and a culinary artist from the CIA is on tap to teach a decorative cupcake class.
Kramer crossed paths with the Del Villars when Joseph did some design and construction work in her home. Tracy does faux painting techniques and he specializes in transformative design, he says, taking a space and completely reworking it to a client’s specifications. He does audio and video systems to suit any type of client, from the home theater enthusiast who wants to transform their basement into a theater, to Diane von Furstenberg, whose downtown penthouse studio was equipped with audio and video by Del Villar.
“We do the unusual at affordable prices,” he says. “People can find something truly unique and eclectic here.”
Renaissance: An Artisan’s Showcase and Home Design Centre is open Thursday through Mondays with varying hours. Call ahead at (845) 419-2133. The website and Facebook page are in the works.