Hand­crafted gifts for the hol­i­days

13 lo­cal artists par­tic­i­pate in arts alliance mar­ket

Newark Post - - FRONT PAGE - By DARA MCBRIDE Spe­cial to the Post

Hol­i­day shop­pers have their choice of unique, lo­cally-made cre­ations at the Ne­wark Arts Alliance’s hol­i­day art mar­ket. That is, if the artists don’t get to them first.

“Some of our mem­bers are our best shop­pers,” said Linda Ma­jew­ski, Ne­wark Arts Alliance ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor.

Es­tab­lished in 1993, the alliance pro­motes the work of lo­cal artists through var­i­ous pro­gram­ming and a gallery space in Mar­ket East Plaza. Aside from a cou­ple staffers, it is run by vol­un­teers. Artists pay the alliance a com­mis­sion to show work in the gallery and can re­ceive a dis­count if they vol­un­teer a few hours a month as a gallery mon­i­tor.

That means the per­son ring­ing up a pa­tron is of­ten an artist them­selves. And some­times also mak­ing a list.

“You’re in here at least once a month for your shift,” said jew­elry artist Karen Hornor. “And ev­ery time you come in, there’s new stuff, so it’s kind of hard not to pick things up. There’s a lot of gor­geous art in here.”

With the hol­i­day art mar­ket oc­cu­py­ing the gallery’s spe­cial ex­hibit space from Nov. 22 to Dec. 30, 13 artists are dis­play­ing work. Hornor said vis­i­tors can ex­pect to meet one or two of the artists when­ever they drop in. She said it’s nice when peo­ple can give a gift and tell the re­cip­i­ent they met the per­son who made it.

Hornor’s own jew­elry is brightly col­ored cro­chet bead­work and chain­mail. She started mak­ing jew­elry – bracelets, ear­rings, neck­laces – a lit­tle over 10 years ago, find­ing in­spi­ra­tion in bead mag­a­zines and at workshops. At first, it was some­thing to keep her oc­cu­pied while wait­ing for her chil­dren’s bal­let or karate prac­tices to end. Then, when a fam­ily friend rec­om­mended the alliance gallery, she de­cided to see if she could sell her jew­elry.

“This is how I got started,” Hornor said. “My busi­ness re­ally was be­cause the arts alliance was here and every­body was real sup­port­ive and help­ful.”

In ad­di­tion to Hornor, this year’s mar­ket in­cludes work from: Omair Balkhi (photo let­ter art), Gail Bush (stained glass), Sarah Dressler (fiber art), Eleanor Fink (jew­elry), Ca­role Fox (pot­tery), Cather­ine Houghton (al­co­hol inks), In­grid Jack­oway (stained glass and flame-worked pen­dants), Gilda Jen­nings (jew­elry), Karen O’LoneHahn (pot­tery and acrylic paint­ings), Stephanie Przy­bylek (acrylic paint­ings), Wendy Ship­man (hand-wo­ven linens) and Mary Jane Tyrie (fused glass).

As is of­ten the case with hol­i­day tra­di­tions, Hornor and Ma­jew­ski can’t quite re­mem­ber when the Hol­i­day Art Mar­ket be­gan. The alliance presents 12 ex­hi­bi­tions each year, and the art mar­ket is a ma­jor one be­cause it comes dur­ing the end-of-the-year shop­ping sea­son, Ma­jew­ski said.

“This is very im­por­tant to the arts alliance, in that our mis­sion is ob­vi­ously to sup­port lo­cal artists and give peo­ple an op­por­tu­nity to have a place to mar­ket what they make, but it’s also im­por­tant to us in terms of in­come for the arts alliance,” Ma­jew­ski said.

It’s pos­si­ble to walk into the gallery and spend a few dol­lars – there are wooden or­na­ments for $10 and zip­per pulls for $6 – or in­vest in a larger piece. A cou­ple art­works that seem to be draw­ing in shop­pers are al­co­hol ink works from Cather­ine Houghton, who uses the thin, fast-dry­ing paint and com­pressed air to give the in­side of glass or­na­ments a vi­brant, mar­bled look, and the cu­ri­ous, minia­ture crea­tures, fairies and friends from fiber artist Sarah Dressler.

Ma­jew­ski said she still en­coun­ters peo­ple who don’t know about the alliance or that it’s on Main Street. She en­cour­ages them to fol­low the mo­saic along­side of the build­ing at 276 E. Main St. to the door to Suite 102.

“There’s not two of any­thing here,” Ma­jew­ski said. “Even if it’s sim­i­lar, it’s not go­ing to be ex­actly the same be­cause it’s hand­made.”

The hol­i­day art mar­ket at the Ne­wark Arts Alliance is open noon to 4 p.m. Tues­days, Wed­nes­days and Sun­days, and noon to 7 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays and Satur­days through Dec. 30. More in­for­ma­tion on the mar­ket and other up­com­ing events can be found at www. newarkart­sal­liance.org.

NE­WARK POST PHOTO BY DARA MCBRIDE

Al­co­hol ink or­na­ments from Cather­ine Houghton are on dis­play at this year’s hol­i­day art mar­ket.

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