Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Local artists band together

Ketchum art market features unique crafts

Express Staff Writer

Kathleen Mardian hangs her unique and handcrafted scarves for the artists market in Ketchum. Photo by David N. Seelig

In November, valley craftsperson Lesley Martin took a walk around Ketchum to visit galleries and stores to find a suitable place for her work. Though the many vacant storefronts were disappointing to Martin, she was struck by an idea to fill one of the empty spaces with art and crafts by local artisans.

"I spotted Christopher's next to the Roosevelt, and knew someone had used the space before," Martin said. "I called Christopher Roebuck and rented the space."

Martin received an overwhelming response from other artists to join her in a holiday market for Thanksgiving and decided to continue it for the Christmas holiday season. There are eight artists featured in the Christmas market and several consigned items from artists who cannot be at the market full-time.

"It is a little tighter than an outside art market," Martin said. "Everyone has about an 8-foot space, and we are brim-full, but the more the merrier."

The show began Saturday, Dec. 20, and will continue through Wednesday, Jan. 3. The market is open 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily, but will not be open Christmas Day.

Expect to see a variety of local crafts and art such as Martin's Silver Pony Designs, which are original and unique metal medallions, charms and pieces for necklaces featuring semi-precious stones, leather, turquoise and amber. In addition, Camas Prairie resident and jeweler Bob Rodman has pieces that are primarily created with gold, silver and precious gems. Bellevue potter E.J. Harpham has original work and LaRece Construction has new, reconstructed cashmere and merino wool items. There are several other unique crafts items such as mirrors by Chad Martin, photographs by George Martin, pillows and linens by Sally Kern and pottery by Gordon Webster.

"I don't think people understand that artists provide a lot of entertainment and aesthetic to the world," said Marie Stewart, who will have paintings at the Starving Artists Market. "The world and people who think about nonprofits should think about artists as well."

Stewart said she is very appreciative of the opportunity to fill an empty space and provide something different to the community where dollars can rotate around.

"I need to market, especially if I want to keep producing art," Stewart said. "I garden, do housekeeping, catering and anything I can to pay my bills so I can do art."

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