Holiday craft store showcases work of local artisans

13 years ago

bu-clr-arts2-dc-pt-50HAVING FUN — Michelle Green, left, and Echo Turner and Summer Turner, right, had fun trying out the hula hoops at the Christmas Craft Collaboration shop, open on the corner of Mechanic and Main streets for the holiday season.
Community-wide holiday party on Dec. 18, its last day of business
By Gloria Austin
Staff Writer

    HOULTON — A Christmas Craft Collaboration is open on the corner of Mechanic and Main streets for the holiday season.
     “The idea for the shop came out of a conversation Kim Forrest, Jami Cass and I had about bringing local artisans and children together in a retail setting,” said Penny Lane, co-organizer of the shop.
    Lane explained the goal of the shop is to offer local craftsmen a venue to show and sell their wares, thereby encouraging them to become self-supporting through their creativity. At the same time, Cass and Forrest also teach children the importance of art in everyday life.
    “Few people realize how vital artists are to our world, but when you think about it, everything we use from the cars we drive and the clothes we wear, to the buildings we work and live in, has been designed by an artist,” Lane said. “Yet, our public school system continues to downsize the fine arts program, placing less and less emphasis on its importance. We’re simply doing our part to fill that void.”
    Items are provided by past and present students of the ‘Kid’s Art Department’ and ‘Alizuran Arts’, along with the local artists and craftsmen forming a grouped known as “Art Parts.” Students range in age from 6-17.
    The shop is open Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
     “The shop has a little bit of everything,” Lane said.
    Handmade magnets, jewelry, toys, baked goods, hula hoops, hand-painted clothes, knit items, ornaments, sewing boxes and coasters are few items to view.
     “There is truly something for everyone,” said Lane.
    Mark Hatfield donated the space for a few weeks to the local artists.
     “Due to Mark’s generosity, we are able to funnel all proceeds directly to the artists, young and old,” Lane added.
    Local artists are encouraged to stop by and get involved.
     “The benefits of a program such as this are three fold,” Lane explained. “First,  the artists are better able to support themselves through the sales of their goods; secondly, the children are benefiting from the attention and wisdom of caring adults, and lastly, our community is offered a new market of products, the purchase of which directly supports our local arts economy, while encouraging children to get, and stay, involved in the business of art.”
    In celebration of a job well done, the shop will be hosting a community-wide holiday party on Saturday, Dec. 18, its last day of business, and Lane’s 35th birthday. The festivities kick off at 2 p.m. and will include door prizes, mulled cider, birthday cake, carolers from community chorus, Addie Boyette’s free juggling stic workshop, and of course a huge sale.
    “We’ve been truly supported by our community and this party is our way of saying ‘thank you’ for a wonderful two weeks,” said Lane.
    For more information, call 538-4383.