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By David Knopf, News Editor
Marilyn Forlow is one of the artists with work displayed at the Friends Gallery “Christmastime” sale and show in the Farris Arts District.
But Forlow would rather talk about art in general and the talent of all the artists than promote her own work.
“All of us paint what we like and that’s what makes it wonderful,” she said.
Several of the exhibitors represent three local clubs – Town & Country China Painters, Lathrop Porcelain Painters and Happy Hands. In all, the work of around 10 artists is displayed on tables and walls of the Gallery at 110 S. Camden St.
Instead of segregating the work of one artist to an single area, organizers chose to intermingle the work of all the contributors in the displays.
It means that Laurel Kindley’s quilting, Melinda White’s oils, acrylics and watercolors, Zahra Jahanyfard’s painted clothespins and paintings, and Peggy Adams’ intricate porcelain portraits share the display areas with work by Arlene Barra, Jane Happy, Phyllis McElhinney, Barbara Akers, Alma Owens, Forlow and others.
The show, which opens again this weekend on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, is intended to promote and help sell the artists’ work while earning money for Farris Theatre operations.
“I appreciate Marilyn Forlow and the other members of our local art community who have provided the art work for sale,” said Rob Swafford, president of the Friends of the Farris Theatre Board. “In addition to beautiful hand-painted china and porcelain items, shoppers may also find handmade quilts, and hand-painted acrylics and watercolors. Shopping at Friends Gallery not only supports local artists, but also supports Friends of the Farris, Inc.”
Art prices range from less than a dollar for a painted clothespin by Jahanyfard, a talented Iranian artist who lives in the area, up to as much as $300 for a painted porcelain vase.
Stephanie Landwehr, another member of the Friends of the Farris Board, said volunteers will return this weekend with a popular feature – boxes of home-baked holiday cookies, coffee and cappucino for sale.
“We had great success this last weekend with our cookie sale,” she said. “Many people came in and were delighted with the assortment of home-baked cookies and holiday packaging for $10 for a box. My bakers were over the top with their delicious treats.
“The traffic in the gallery was steady on Saturday and we had good sales of paintings, china and quilting pieces,” Landwehr said.
This weekend’s show, sale and cookie exchange opens Friday from 5 to 7 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and again from 5 to 7 p.m., then resumes on Sunday from 1 to 4.
The Gallery hours are intended to precede and overlap show times in the theatre itself, where Ray County Community Arts Association is staging its live radio play of “It’s a Wonderful Life”.
It’s the last weekend for the cookie exchange, although the “Christmastime” art show/sale itself will be open Dec. 11, 13, 14, 18 and 20 for Christmas shopping.
Swafford said he’s pleased with the progress the Gallery has made since the complete renovation of two buildings in the Farris Arts District.
“I am extremely excited to see the Friends Gallery in use, and the Farris Arts District vision we’ve talked about since 2007 becoming reality,” he said. “It wasn’t that long ago that the building was in disrepair and a community art gallery was simply a project goal.”
Art shows and sales were always a central part of the plan for the Gallery, although Swafford said Friends of the Farris is eager to hear community members’ ideas on what the Gallery programs should include.
Arts events are a high priority, he said, but this time of year so is shopping and sweet treats.
“After a few events since the Mushroom Festival debut, Christmastime at Friends Gallery is the first opportunity for local artists to offer their art work for sale,” he said. “I can’t think of a better place to shop for the hard-to-buy-for person on your Christmas list.”