Gallery of Gifts
Just one hour into its opening day, several shoppers were already buying gifts on display in the Tevis Gallery of the Arts Council.
Items for sale include mugs, scarves, jewelry, lamps, clay crabs, hats, pottery, baskets and framed artwork.
Beverly Wladkowski, owner of b Creations Jewelry, was putting some last-minute touches on her display Thursday. It's her fourth year selling her creations at the Gallery of Gifts.
Wladkowski works full-time and said she makes her whimsical, cowgirl-chic jewelry on the side.
"It's nice to have this opportunity where they take care of things for you," she said.
The Gallery of Gifts is her biggest money maker each year for her jewelry. The organizers make sure the event stays current and fresh.
"There's always new things, plus old favorites," Wladkowski said. "It's a good way to support local artists and handmade gifts are wonderful."
Arts Council Director Sandy Oxx said the fifth-annual Gallery of Gifts features the work of 35 artists. Several volunteers are always at the event to assist shoppers and wrap the merchandise.
The vendors appreciate that they can sell their work and don't have to stand with their goods the whole time, since for many the artwork is their second job, Oxx said. Last year, the event brought in $22,000.
"We're really behind this whole shop local movement," she said.
The biggest change to the event this year is it will going on at the same time as the Festival of Wreaths, which will be held upstairs at the Arts Council starting Nov. 30.
Kiki Stellakis, of Westminster, said this was her second year at the event, but her first time attending it on opening day.
"I found some really great stuff," she said. "Things go really fast so I want to see what they have before it's all gone."
The variety is greater this year, which made it harder for Stellakis because she's indecisive.
"I'll come again with my fiance next week," she said. "He might find some stuff and give him his opinions."
This time of year is a high-traffic time at the Arts Council, which Oxx hopes will benefit more than just her organization.
"We want to bring more people downtown," she said. "We tried to select merchandise that's different than what's at other local stores."