Daniel Predmore feels he lost out on a $1,500 payday at the Allentown Art Festival last weekend because the organizers treated him unfairly.
Predmore says the rules for vendors were selectively enforced and he wasn’t permitted to offer his best-seller while other artists sold the same item.
His business, Predmore Creations, sells art emblazoned with symbols and images he draws of the Queen City. He makes wall hangings, jewelry and etched-glass artifacts, including mugs and shot glasses.
His most popular creation, though, is his liquor bottle cheese tray. Predmore heats empty bottles of liquor – such as Grey Goose and Crown Royal – up to 1,000 degrees and molds them into trays.
The trays were a hit at last year’s Art Festival, with Predmore racking up $1,500 in sales off that item alone.
“I was selling these bottles like crazy, one after another,” Predmore said.
This year, though, Predmore – who has sold at the festival for more than 15 years – says he was told before the festival he would be kicked out if he tried peddling the trays because they are not considered art.
Predmore, of North Tonawanda, says the organizers were unfair because other artists sold the same product. He was further angered when he later read in The Buffalo News about one festival-goer describing her purchase of a cheese tray made from a Grey Goose bottle.
“I told them other people were doing it, and they said, ‘We don’t care,’ ” Predmore said.
Rita Lippman, a spokeswoman for the festival, confirmed that the products were not allowed.
“Glass and acrylic is supposed to be hand-blown or handmade glass,” Lippman said. “Things that are remanufactured like that are not allowed in the glass category … we have been through this many times.”
Predmore, however, says his bitterness is not with the rule but with its selective enforcement. Lippman says the rule was enforced universally.
“No one is allowed to sell those,” Lippman said.
Lippman also said she saw Predmore with the trays in his booth late Sunday afternoon but chose not to say anything to him because it was so late in the festival. Predmore said he had a tray out for display.
“I told people they weren’t for sale,” Predmore said. “I didn’t sell any this year. I had a whole wall of them. I had 40 different kinds of about every kind of liquor there is … I would prefer there not to be favoritism.”