The Buchanan Art Center: White Saturday Celebration

Published 12:05 pm Friday, November 29, 2013

The Buchanan Art Center is located at 117 W. Front St. in Buchanan. Leader photo/JILL McCAUGHAN

The Buchanan Art Center is located at 117 W. Front St. in Buchanan. Leader photo/JILL McCAUGHAN

Like many other towns in Southwest Michigan, Buchanan will be showcasing its local merchants and non-profit organizations on Nov. 30.

“The push is to shop local,” said Janet Flahaven-Law, executive director of the Buchanan Art Center. “If I can shop local, I prefer to do that, and that’s what we like to encourage.”

To that end, the Buchanan Art Center is participating in Buchanan’s White Saturday Celebrat-ion, and they have several holiday-themed activities lined up.

“We’re having our gift shop artists’ sale, Flahaven-Law said. “We’re going to have tables in the galleries so that our artists can bring in more of their inventory than they can fit in the gift shop…All the art and pieces in here have to be juried in. We have a committee that approves them for their level of quality. They are all handmade goods, all handcrafted.”

“Also that day, we’re going to have our raku walk-through. Raku is a firing process for pottery.… It’s kind of like ‘fast-food pottery’ in the sense that the pieces are already made and they are fired once, which would be bisqueware. You can glaze them in the time that you’re here, and we’ll fire them,” said Flahaven-Law.

“The hope is that, if you came in here, picked a piece out, paid for it, glazed it, and then have it scheduled to be fired, you can go and enjoy some of the other things we’re doing as well as some of the other things in town, and then come back,” said Flahaven-Law. “The last firing is at 4 p.m., so they would want them all glazed by 3 p.m.” These pre-fired pieces are priced from $10 to $25.

“It’s a suitable activity for kids under 12 as long as the parent is there helping them, making sure the glaze is applied properly,” said Flahaven-Law. “We’ll have a festive atmosphere with all the hustle and bustle, and there’ll be some cider and cookies or donut holes here for anybody coming through.”

“The third thing we’re doing is that we have four Santa Clauses [made by artist Barbara Leyba] that have been donated by a local resident, Virginia Reddig. They’re up for silent auction, and the auction closes at 5 on Saturday the 30th,” said Flahaven-Law. “Comparable pieces online can be found at Etsy, and those range from $200 to $400. They’re really beautiful pieces, and exceptionally made. And, you need not be present to win the auction.”

Opportunities to view, create and purchase local art in Buchanan will continue long past White Saturday. Pieces for the Buchanan Art Center’s juried architecture exhibit “More than Bricks and Mortar” will be on display in their Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired building from Nov. 27 through Jan. 4. The show will feature works from local artists of all ages. A new session of classes for all ages will begin in January, too.

For now, “We’re hoping that a lot of people stop by” on White Saturday, said Flahaven-Law. “We’re just one of many of the activities that are going to be happening in downtown Buchanan. We’re trying to get people to get out of their cars, walk through the town, stop in all the places that they might not have been to before, and hopefully, they’ll come up this side of the hill, as well as the other side of the hill, because there are going to be lots of things going on between here and there.”

The Buchanan Art Center will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at 117 W. Front St., Buchanan, Mich. More information can be found by visiting or by calling (269) 697-4005. And, more information about the many other events on White Saturday in downtown Buchanan can be found at www.Discover