DECATUR — As the holiday season spurs a tide of spending, Decatur shoppers can put some of their money into local artistic hands.
From watercolors to woodwork, a variety of handmade wares exist to tempt shoppers at the “Xmas ARTicles” craft show at Madden Arts Center. About 55 area artists and craftsmen submitted a plethora of original work for the sale, with prices ranging from $5 to nearly $2,000. Most pieces cost between $12 and $30.
“The funny thing is that you may come in there on a quest for a gift, but you may actually leave not only with a gift but also with something for yourself,” said Sue Powell, gallery director in charge of the show. “There’s so much really good stuff.”
Work available at the show includes beaded jewelry, glass and pop culture-themed pendants, baskets, handbags, fishing poles, note cards, art prints, paintings, scarves and woodwork. Powell said the show has grown every year since its beginning in 2004.
About 30 percent of the proceeds from each sale go to the arts council. Powell said the arts center also benefits from the exposure provided by the craft show.
Customers were sparse on Sunday afternoon, but Powell said traffic was strong on the show’s opening night Wednesday, as well as Thursday and Saturday.
Sherry Harris of Sullivan is one of the artists whose work appears in the show. Harris is selling several watercolor pieces, ranging in price from $120 to $1,800 for a large, elaborately framed painting of an Arabian horse.
Harris also featured work in previous years.
“There’s a lot of really good pieces. I was really impressed,” Harris said. “A lot of variety and a lot of jewelry, a lot of things I would like to have myself.”
Bonnie Allison of Decatur said she sold almost all of the handmade baskets and basket ornaments she brought to display. Though the show has already been very profitable for Allison, she said she’s also spent quite a bit on art created by others.
“You get to go buy unique, handmade items that you can’t go to the mall and buy,” she said. “It’s more meaningful gifts, in my opinion.”
The show runs until Dec. 30. So, Powell said, “even if you get some Christmas money in your stocking, you can come back and get yourself a little something.”
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