By Jim Newell
The Orion Art Center hosts its Holiday Market now through Dec. 21, offering a unique shopping experience for anyone looking for that special gift while supporting local artists.
Art Center Director Karin Starick said this is the biggest year yet for the Holiday Market, with works from 26 area artists. “It just keeps growing every year and we couldn’t do it without the artists in the community.
“We have this every year at the end of the year. It’s where we offer local artists the opportunity to come in and sell their items that they’ve worked so hard on,” said Starick. “You name it, it’s here.”
From pottery to photography, hand-made jewelry to original paintings, the Holiday Market features works from artists who share their work, and proceeds, with the Art Center. The artists keep 70 percent of the proceeds and 30 percent goes to the Art Center.
“Which helps fund our classes and our programming and different events,” Starick said.
As the items sell, the Art Center encourages artists to replace the inventory so holiday shoppers can continually choose from a wide selection.
“That’s what I tell them right off the bat. I will give them a call if their inventory is getting low,” Starick said. “One of the biggest sellers here is the porch pots. So, the greenery for Christmas, those are always a big seller.”
The sale of some merchandise also will help fund a kiln at the Art Studio at Moose Tree.
“Our pottery students and instructors, every year they donate some of the pieces they’ve created…any proceeds from that go directly toward purchasing a new kiln for our pottery studio,” Starick said.
This year, the Holiday Market also features artwork from Joan Brace, one of the original founders of the Art Center.
“Her granddaughter reached out to me and said she had a few pieces of her grandmother’s art and wondered if I would like to do something with it. Of course, it was great timing for the Holiday Market,” Starick said.
The Holiday Market is also a great place to shop for the hard-to-buy-for family member or friend, a place where anyone can find something unique, Starick said.
“If you’re an artist and you’re creating something it is going to be one-of-a-kind. There will not be another (just) like it in this entire world because that’s what art is,” she said. “So, if you’re shopping for someone who’s hard to shop for, you’re mostly likely guaranteed to find something really unique here.”
Holiday Market hours are 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays, noon – 8 p.m. Fridays and noon – 6 p.m. Saturdays through Dec. 21.
“Thank you to all the amazing artists that we have in the community. We have a lot of great talent here and we really appreciate it,” Starick said.
The Orion Art Center is at 115 S. Anderson St. Online: orionartcenter.org.