By Hayley Thomas
Retail shops will soon be decked out with holiday goods, but many shoppers have yet to consider where those plastic ornaments or festive decorations are made. Studios on the Park invites community members to shop locally and step outside of the big box store this winter season.
The nonprofit’s first-ever Deck the Halls holiday show will run Nov. 28 through Dec. 28, featuring an array of for-sale handmade holiday decorations created by Studios’ resident artists and local people. The entire community is welcomed to show and sell their handiwork at the non-juried event. All submissions must be turned in to Studios on the Park by Nov. 21 to be included in the sale.
“We invite artists, craftspeople and creatives of all types to create original ornaments or miniature artworks,” said Studios on the Park Programs Director Sasha Irving. “Our large front window and atrium exhibition space will feature ornaments on trees, walls and suspended in air.”
The alternative to commercial ornaments are artful, handmade and unique, according to resident artist Eve Chartrand. The mixed media artist moved into Studios on the Park in May of this year, creating encaustic paintings and stunning installations.
“It would be fantastic to be able to reach out to more artists and have them participate in Deck the Halls,” Chartrand said. “Some resident artists will be creating small canvases and wood carvings as ornaments, we have a jewelry maker who is working with bronze and another will be decorating gourds. It’s going to be very cool.”
Creations can be crafted from any medium and may be any shape as long as they have the ability tohang, are under five pounds and do not exceed a $50 price tag.
Chartrand herself is working on multidimensional ornaments crafted from wood, among others.
“We want to bring in a diversity of mediums to create a nice alternative to store-bought ornaments,” Chartrand said. “This way, people will be encouraged to buy original art that is not super expensive and can even be hung in the home after the holidays are over.”
A 40 percent commission collected by Studios on the Park supports the nonprofit’s efforts to provide year-round art education to the public and local youth. In addition to handling sales, Studios on the Park will also offer holiday gift-wrapping.
Chartrand said she invites shoppers to purchase art that is both personal and special this year – the opposite of throwaway, mass-produced products that often wind up in the garbage by New Year’s Day.
“If we can support Studios on the Park, help community artists and buy local at the same time, that would be fantastic,” Chartrand said. “Deck the Halls offers a great way for artists to show and promote their work, and everyone is welcome to get involved.”
For more information on Deck the Halls guidelines, visit studiosonthepark.org, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 423-4206.