Parkersburg Art Center features Artists’ Market

As part of national “Shop Small” Saturday, the Parkersburg Art Center will be opening its doors at no charge all day on Saturday for a Holiday Open House.

Art Center director Abby Hayhurst said there will be a number of activities planned just for the day, and all are designed to help Christmas shoppers find gifts that are unique, moderately priced and locally-produced.

No admission will be charged during the open house. Free parking is available in the lots directly across Eighth Street from the art center.

“The Artists’ Market” will feature booths by area artisans selling one-of-a-kind pieces in jewelry, paper crafting, textiles and more, she said.

The art center’s Zocolo Gift Shop and Frame-Zilla Custom Framing Shop will be offering Shop Small Saturday Only specials on work by 110 area artists and crafters, including art prints that can be custom framed in time for holiday giving, she said.

A limited number of tickets will go on sale for the art center’s Holiday Raffle. The winner will take home two miniature trees, decorated with silk and velvet poinsettias, as well as eight Royal Doulton Tankards in the limited collector’s edition “Christmas Carol” series. Accompanying the tankards is the original Royal Doulton sign from Wetherell’s Jewelers, another rare collectible. The raffle items were donated by Rob Hyde, and the trees designed and decorated by Hyde and Kim Davis.

Hot cider and cookies will be available all day, and lunch will be available from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The food and beverages will be prepared and served by members of Altrusa Club of Parkersburg Inc., and will include a variety of sandwiches and hot soups, she said.

Saturday is also the award event for the Young Illustrators, Hayhurst said. The exhibit is on display in the art center’s Art Factory Gallery, on the classroom level. Wood County students from kindergarten through high school were tasked with reading a book, then producing an illustration from their chosen book.

Jessie Siefert, the art center’s education director, said the entries were judged at the individual schools, then the winners were brought to the art center where the county winners were chosen, and those will be entered into the State competition.

The “Artist-Trees 2016” exhibit will debut during the Holiday Open House on Saturday. In the art center’s annual tradition, the display will feature a number of very unusual Christmas trees, decorated in the style of famous artists.

The trees are trimmed by art center staff, board members and volunteers, as well as by students from Parkersburg South High School, Parkersburg Catholic High School, Jackson Middle School, VanDevender Middle School, Tyler Consolidated High School and students from the Wood County Day Report Center.

“I always say, ‘these are not your father’s Christmas trees˘’ and it’s true,” Hayhurst said. “They are not very traditional! This year, we will have trees in the style of Dale Chihuly, Jackson Pollack, Keith Haring, Audubon, Picasso and many more. Along with each tree, we display a print and a bio so people can see what the original looked like, and learn a little about the artist … so I guess you could say it’s painless art history for all ages. Mostly, it’s just plain fun,” she said.

Guests can vote for their favorite Artist-Trees by putting coins in the tubes next to each, and the tree with the highest total on Dec. 31 wins.

“The winning trimmers get nothing but bragging rights, because we use the money to buy art supplies for our winter Free Art Saturdays for kids program, so it’s a win/win all around,” Hayhurst said.

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