One of the community’s surefire signs of the Christmas season’s arrival has begun at the Leamington Arts Centre.
The LAC’s Signature Christmas Artist Market began Tuesday, Nov. 22 and ends Friday, Dec. 23. The month-long event officially kicked off with a three-hour reception Friday, Nov. 25, where many guests saw the works of 17 local artists for the first time. Each of the centre’s galleries is currently filled with photography, paintings, jewelry, woodworking, crafts, pottery and other mediums. Each displayed piece is for sale throughout the course of the LAC’s operating hours — 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. from Tuesdays to Fridays and noon to 4 p.m. on Saturdays.
This year marks the third for the Signature Christmas Artist Market as a month-long event and the second with no-commission sales in support of the participating artists. When the show first began seven years ago, it was slotted as a two-day event. Since expanding to a full month, it has attracted a combined total of customers ranging from about 200 to 1,000.
The exhibit includes free admission for all hours and also features sale items form another 100-plus artists in the gift shop. The works set up in the gallery were created by artists from communities including Leamington, Kingsville, Chatham, LaSalle, Essex, Wheatley, Windsor, Colchester and from as far as Guelph.
Although unseasonably warm weather hasn’t persuaded many customers into starting their Christmas shopping, LAC director Chad Riley noted that the annual show has already been busy.
“It gives artists a great opportunity to sell more,” he explained. “They each get a space like their own little store front.”
For the annual market, the LAC is accepting BIA Bucks for all sales.
“This way, people get to stretch their dollars a little further while helping support the arts,” Riley said.
This year’s show includes entries from artists who have participated in previous editions of the event including Eric Naylor and Phos3 as well as those who set up displays at the LAC for the first time ever. Some of the artists include students as well as creators who’ve taken part in previous Arts at the Marina events.
For more information on A Signature Christmas Artist Market and other LAC exhibits, visit the website www.leamingtonartscentre.com. The LAC is located at 72 Talbot St. West.