Art in Our World:
18th Annual Holiday Show and Sale for Local Artisans
by Jennifer LB Leese
Art is a large part of our everyday living that we hardly ever stop to appreciate it. Imagine, just for a moment, what our world would be without art. Some would say, "Big deal!" But think about what art does for you and your world. Houses and building wouldn't look so beautiful and unique; shoes wouldn't be so cool. Someone designed those things. They are artists. Art isn't just oil paintings hanging on a wall in a museum; they are functional objects as well.
As a person who can't draw a straight line, I value art. Art enriches our lives; it motivates parts of our brains, making us laugh, cry, or just stare at it in amazement. For some people, art is one of the main reasons why they get out of bed in the morning. Some could say that art is a psychologist you don't have to pay.
The Arts Centre is having a "Holiday Show and Sale" at the historic Admiral Boarman House, a two story brick house in downtown Martinsburg on South Queen Street. Sponsored by Minghini's General Contractors, Potomac Construction Industry, and Talk Radio WRNR, the "18th Annual Holiday Show and Sale" opens November 18 and is free to the public. The show and sale includes local artisans and craftsmen during the holidays by showcasing their work in the spacious old home. "It will be set up like a retail shop—an elegant shop," says Melissa Crim, Events Coordinator. A few of the displays visitors can look forward to are makers of jewelry, pewter, pottery, baskets, oil paintings, and drawings. Visitors can expect to see several different vendors where they can purchase area jams and jellies.
Upcoming events include "Festival of Trees" held at the Federal Building. Set for November 18 through December 23, visitors can come and enjoy the splendor and charm of stunningly decorated Christmas trees. Each handpicked tree has a sponsor and is decorated then purchased by locals and regional organizations or companies. Local school children will be there helping decorate and putting on a puppet show. Sponsored by The Martinsburg Sunrise Rotary to benefit The Arts Centre, this is one event not to miss.
On November 27, for $2, children can sit on Santa's lap, get a picture taken, and tell the big guy what they want for Christmas during the center's "Photo's with Santa." Don't miss "The Festival of Trees" display around the corner.
From 10 p.m. to 4 p.m. on December 3, hungry patrons can stroll by and stop at The Arts Centre for some warm, delicious baked goodies during their "Bake Sale." Come hungry because you'll be able to find homemade muffins, cookies, cakes, pies, and brownies.
The Arts Centre provides educational, enjoyable creations, and imaginative instruction for Eastern Panhandle children and adults. "The Arts Centre encourages improvisation and experimentation in the arts. Master artists introduce students to basic skills and problem solving methods that encourage personal expression and development." Designed to accommodate beginners and advanced students, classes for children at the Community School for the Arts are small, giving children one-on-one instruction. Studying children come together in three age groups 5-7 years, 8-10, and 10-12 years where they can learn painting, drawing, clay sculptures, puppetry, and video.
The Arts Centre is currently working on moving to a new facility. This project, referred to as "Operation Renaissance," includes not only a name change, but also a complete restructuring of the mission of the organization. The center will move from the Admiral Boarman House, built in 1802, to the Romanesque style Old Federal Building, built 1895. This project will take years to achieve, which will require great fund raising efforts, plans and construction for the project, in addition to educational programming preparation, and staff expansion. Work is about to begin on the renovation project of this building and The Arts Centre hopes to be in their new location late 2005 or early 2006. Those interested in tracking the progress visit The Arts Centre on the web at www.theartcentre.org.
Contributions to The Arts Centre project will aid in opening the doors of the Old Federal Building--first time in 40 years--and will help provide art classes for children and adults, as well as helping build the art facility for visual and performing arts. The West Virginia Cultural Facilities Development Grant will match each dollar donated up to $324,000. Readers are encouraged to give tax deductible donations to The Arts Centre.
The Arts Centre is located at 208 South Queen Street on the square in downtown Martinsburg, WV. Please call for additional information at 304-263-0224, or reach us on the web at wwww.theartcentre.org. If you are interested in signing up for an art class, call Educational Directors Patty Perez or Kelley Ingalls at 304-263-0224.
About the Author: Jennifer LB Leese is an author, children’s book review columnist, freelance writer, and copyeditor. She writes children's books, young adult novels, and paranormal fiction novels. Jennifer lives in Hagerstown with her three children, husband, and three dogs. She volunteers at her children’s school several times a week where she teaches book talk and book building to second graders. Jennifer likes to write, read, color with her children, play dolls with her daughter, take nature walks with her kids, and read bedtime stories to them every night.
Jennifer LB Leese