This year’s Gallery of Gifts at Carroll Arts Center won’t have quite the same look as in previous years, but those involved with the exhibit are hoping for a good turnout during the holiday season.
The annual shopping experience for local hand-crafted items is set to begin Thursday, Nov. 19 and run through Dec. 23 during regular business hours at the Arts Center in Westminster.
Judy Morley, executive director of the Carroll County Arts Council, said the number of vendors is down this year from the usual 30-40 in order to accommodate social distancing guidelines. The vendors will also be spaced out into the center lobby, which Morley said gives shoppers more room to peruse the crafts.
Morley said Gallery of Gifts, now in its 12th year, is unique in its form.
“The thing about shopping in our Gallery of Gifts for Christmas is that you have amazing ... artistic, creative artwork,” Morley said. “You’re actually buying artwork, you’re not buying something mass produced.”
This year’s lineup of 20 vendors is divided into four categories:
Jewelry ― Joyce Fritz Ritz/Souly Joyce Jewelry, Wire and stone jewelry; Jennifer Hoff/JHoff Designs, Polymer clay jewelry, accessories; Nancy Walker/WalkerArt Studio, Fused glass jewelry, hand painted ornaments
Ceramic, glass, clay creations ― Teri Koenig/Rosebud Studios, Hand painted porcelain; Andrea Rowinski/Andiland Studio, hand painted glassware; Lisa Scarbath/Pieceful Designs Mosaics, mosaic wall art, decor, and furniture
Fiber, wood, basketry ― John Englund/Catmando Artisan Woodworks, hand crafted boxes made from reclaimed wood; Marilyn Goldstein, cloth face masks and purses; Michael Perlin/Perlin Woodworks, wooden cutting boards, wine racks and boxes; Sherman Reeder/Sherm’s Designer Woods, Turned wooden bowls and other goods; Sharon Schaeffer/Sharon Schaeffer Baskets, baskets; Pamela Short, hand knitted hats, gloves, scarfs; Joseph Staup/Homestead Forge, wood turned products and hand forged ironware; Meredith Jayne Vogel/Handmade by MJV, bowties, baby clothes
Marvelous miscellany ― Kevin and Kathleen Clancy/CTA Artworks, gourds, small paintings; Lori Cullen/Twindles Candle Company, hand-made all natural soy candles and tarts; Jessica Graves/JG Designs, sea glass and copper wire sculptures, small paintings, copper wire jewelry; Lisa Hetrick/Indigojade Art, inspirational paintings and prints; Michelle Kwiatkowski/Wild Rose Soap Company, natural soaps, lotions, candles, bath bombs; Michelle Loewer/Hampstead Creek, home accessories, jewelry; Serena Pelletier/Serene Lavender Farm, lavender culinary and home goods
“Shoppers will love the array of handmade goods as much as their friends and family will love receiving them as gifts,” CAC Education and Visual Arts Coordinator Moriah Tyler said in a news release.
Morley said Gallery of Gifts won’t take place if Gov. Larry Hogan moves Maryland into a more restricted phase of his “Roadmap to Recovery” plan, because Carroll Arts Center doesn’t have a sensible way to move the exhibit online. Having a gallery and lobby filled with one-of-a-kind shopping items makes it difficult to create a virtual gallery, she said.