SCAC to host Holiday Artist Market

By SASHA JOHNS / Community Columnist

On Dec. 5, the Shelby County Arts Council plans to host their annual Holiday Artist Market in Columbiana. This event, going on more than 10 years now, has become a tradition for locals around Shelby County because it’s a great source for gifts that show off the best of our handmade and creative community in Shelby County and the surrounding areas.

Woodworkers, crochet and fiber artists, potters, painters, photographers, jewelry makers and many other types of artists will be displaying their handmade work for purchase in both the Grand Hall and the EBSCO Fine Art Gallery. Lindsay Dyess, the Education Coordinator at the Arts Council, told us that in all, guests can expect to see the work of 38 different artists on Dec. 5.

In addition to the individual artists, The Pottery Collective, a group of potters that started out as pottery students at SCAC, will also bring a booth to the event. These seven potters have grown in their craft over the years and formed a group to encourage and help each other in both their craft and individual businesses.

We also spoke with a longtime exhibitor, Amanda Morgan, who teaches crochet at the council, to find out what she loves about this event. “For me,” she told us, “it’s that yearly event where I get to see old friends. It’s more like a party than work.” She went on to tell us that since she works in the community not only at SCAC but also as the art teacher at Elvin Hill Elementary, she finds it to be a way to bring different facets of the community together in the name of art.

This event will be vital to local artists who have struggled in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. Shopping with local artists is a win-win act for both customers, artistic entrepreneurs, and the community. Customers will get unique one of a kind gifts for friends and family and the money they put into the artist’s pockets not only helps them but also helps the local economy.

In addition to the art, food trucks will be available for the market-goers to make the shopping experience complete. Safety has also been on the mind of the coordinators. Booths will be safely spaced and hand sanitizers will be stationed strategically around the facility for guest use. The Council also asks that guests wear face masks for the protection of the exhibitors and the public while shopping as well as to fall in line with the state’s mandates.

The event is free to the public and will run from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. To find out more about the Holiday Artists Market, visit the SCAC website at Shelbycountyartscouncil.com or their Facebook page by the same name.