Artisan Market moves up a beat

Published 10:59 am Thursday, November 8, 2012

2011 HollyMarket.

Krasl Art Center, in downtown St. Joseph, will kick off the holiday season Friday with The Premiere, a party to open the rebranded, retooled Artisan Market (formerly known as HollyMarket).

The Premiere is a ticketed event with refreshments and entertainment — and a chance at first pick on the fine-art crafts available at the six-day fair.

The party sports a 1920s- to 1930s-era Hollywood theme. Singer-songwriter Joshua Davis will provide live music, accompanied by wine and food from local restaurants. Guests can dress the period and have photos taken by “paparazzi” photographers.

HollyMarket is a long-standing tradition at the Krasl Art Center in St. Joseph. It goes back even farther than the Krasl itself, back to when the St. Joseph Art Association occupied an older home. At Christmastime, various local artists got together to show and sell handmade ornaments and gift items. They called it the Holly Boutique.

As the Art Association grew into its new building (and present home) on Lake Boulevard, Holly Boutique morphed into HollyMarket.
Now, as Krasl plans for the future, it looks to expand the market’s audience and ensure the show supports its mission: bringing people and art together. To this end, it has tightened the jury process and renamed the event Artisan Market.

“We worked to rebrand the Artisan Market and give it a breath of fresh air,” said Krasl Art Center’s executive director, Julia Gourley. “We want it to grow to be a fine-art craft show. We want to expand the audience and encourage new artists to submit their work.”

The market will be open to the public starting Saturday morning and will run through Thursday. Hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. On Sunday, the market will run from 1 to 4 p.m.

Artisan Market will remain open late on Tuesday for those wanting to shop after work. Krasl will offer wine and cheese from 5 to 8 p.m. for this after-hours spree.

The market will be more universal nature — and not necessarily holiday-oriented — as Krasl strives to make Artisan Market a more serious art show. It has tapped the Art Fair’s organizer, Sara Shambarger to manage Artisan Market, too. Roughly 130 artists are participating. Many of these artists are local or from neighboring states.

“It’s an opportunity for the community to come into the Art Center and buy handmade, original objects — for themselves or as gifts — at reasonable price points,” said Gourley. “It’s local shopping to the nth degree.”

A huge part of HollyMarket was its Soup’s On luncheon, and it will continue as part of Artisan Market. Each weekday (Monday through Thursday), from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Krasl volunteers will serve homemade soups with bread and a drink for $6. Desserts can be had for an extra dollar.

The Krasl Art Center is located at 707 Lake Boulevard in St. Joseph.