Holiday Market returns, supports local artists and community

By: Kristyne E. Demske | Mount Clemens - Clinton - Harrison Journal | Published December 2, 2021

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 Artist Margaret Mayan Glinke, of Shelby Township, holds a pen-and-ink watercolor of a lighthouse in Grand Haven, Michigan, that she created.

Artist Margaret Mayan Glinke, of Shelby Township, holds a pen-and-ink watercolor of a lighthouse in Grand Haven, Michigan, that she created.

Photo by Deb Jacques

 Cari Smith-Gammicchia, of Shelby Township, stands in the Holiday Market. She creates abstract acrylic paintings, one of which is hanging above her.

Cari Smith-Gammicchia, of Shelby Township, stands in the Holiday Market. She creates abstract acrylic paintings, one of which is hanging above her.

Photo by Deb Jacques

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MOUNT CLEMENS — Ornaments, scarves, earrings, mittens and more have packed the walls and shelves of the Anton Art Center as the annual Holiday Market returns.

The 2020 Holiday Market was held mainly online, with limited in-person shopping, said Anton Art Center Executive Director Phil Gilchrist. But 2021 is different.

“We were really interested in gearing up to a full-fledged holiday market experience,” he said Nov. 21 during the Meet the Artists Open House, which was hosted by the Mount Clemens Kiwanis Club.

Stepping into the Anton Art Center’s Holiday Market is like stepping into the holiday itself, with colorful wreaths, paintings and sculptures adorning the walls, and shelves stocked full with pottery, glassware, ornaments and decorations, pictures, cards, and more.

Whereas 2020 had a fraction of the usual pieces of artwork available for sale, 2021 has allowed the center to include about the same amount of items as they had in the past from 115 artists, Gilchrist said.

“We’re hopeful we’ll be able to help artists earn an amount they would have prior” to the pandemic, he said.

Masks are required while at the Anton Art Center — provided when needed — and Gilchrist said visitors have been very cooperative. He said everyone is just happy to be back shopping at Anton Art Center and exploring the galleries of artwork also on display, including “Unity & Balance,” an exhibition of the Mosaic Artists of Michigan.

Artists like Michael Daitch are also glad the market has returned.

“We were so glad this year we’re in person,” said Daitch, a weaver who is also a member of the Anton Art Center Board of Trustees. “Art needs to be touched and seen and felt.”

He called the Anton Art Center the “cultural hub of all of Macomb County” and said it is always looking to diversify its offerings.

Abstract painter Cari Smith-Gammicchia has participated in the Holiday Market since 2017, but she did not participate in the limited 2020 market.

What sets the Holiday Market apart from other shopping venues is the opportunity to purchase quality items made by local artisans, she said. The center is so important to the community, as well, she said, with its gallery space and classes.

“Just coming in through the door and seeing the huge display, it’s just so holiday, so community ... this starts the holiday spirit,” she said.

Amanda Koss, an abstract expressionist painter, said she usually participates in the Detroit Artist Market but wanted to branch out to a new venue with the Anton Art Center.

“It’s amazing to become ... a part of everything again,” she said. “It’s an easy way to get your (work) out there. It supports the community.”

She said she created different pieces for the market to make it more accessible for holiday shoppers.

“People can purchase a piece and not have to spend an arm and a leg,” she said.

Carol Weidenbach, of Fraser, said she appreciates the diversity of items available at the market.

“They have a really nice selection. The quality and the uniqueness of the articles” set it apart, she said, carrying a handful of gifts just moments after arriving at the market.

Mary Liz DuCharme, of St. Clair Shores, agreed.

“There’s such a great variety, and the pricing is very reasonable, as well,” she said. “They’re so unique. It’s such a beautiful space.”

The 43rd annual Holiday Market is open 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday, 12-8 p.m. Thursday, 12-5 p.m. Friday and Sunday, and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Learn more at theartcenter.org.

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