Shoppers from across the region are venturing to Gainesville this week to search for gifts at the 26th annual Marketplace.
The Northeast Georgia Health System’s Medical Center Auxiliary will host the event at the Gainesville Civic Center, welcoming more than 86 vendors from about eight states selling gift items including home interiors and vintage items; women’s, children’s and men’s custom clothing; gourmet food; jewelry and accessories; holiday items; garden items; organic skin care; English and French country antiques; and handcrafted lighting.
When: 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Nov. 3 and 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Nov. 4; preview party, 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Nov. 2
Where: Gainesville Civic Center, 830 Green St. NE, Gainesville
How much: $5; preview party $50
“When you buy locally you realize that expressiveness is all around you, it’s not somewhere else,” Pottery for Living artist and Gainesville resident Donna Gilbert said. “It comes from your neighborhood, and I think it encourages people to be aware of the immediacy of the art and perhaps encourages them to see beauty in unexpected places. I hope that people get a sense of the potential of creativity wherever they look. It is really nice to support your local artists.”
Gilbert and her husband, Greg Johnson, will be at Marketplace selling wheel-thrown, carved white stoneware.
Gilbert and Johnson began making pottery 20 years ago.
“Our work has evolved a lot,” Gilbert said. “Our goal is to make elegant pottery but that people use every day and are functional. We use it, and other people we sell to use it for cooking, serving and vases.”
Though the couple applies strictly to juried shows, they make a point to participate in Marketplace each year.
“We like to do one local show and that is the Gainesville Marketplace that raises money for the hospital,” Gilbert said. “We have applied and gone to shows in about 20 states and it is always a gift to us to be able to do something locally.”
There will be an Artist’s Row in the Green Street tent Friday and Saturday. Lunch can also be enjoyed on the Green Street Porch or in the downstairs Chestatee Room.
Proceeds benefit Safe Kids Gainesville/Hall County, which provides education to families on preventing accidental injury. Safe Kids is an initiative within the Medical Center Foundation’s Healthy Journey Campaign.
Chestatee High School’s Community Based Vocational Instruction class worked Monday with the Partner’s Club to put together more than 4,000 shopping bags for the event.
“I love helping the kids prepare the shopping bags,” said Peggy Ward, Marketplace volunteer and friend of Chestatee students. “They look forward to this each year.”
This is the fifth year the students have prepared the shopping bags. Ward said the Medical Center Auxiliary is “very grateful for their wonderful assistance.”
“Putting the stickers on the bags is fun and with two groups of kids, it goes fast,” Ward said. “It’s a great partnership between school and community.”
Chestatee High teacher Averie Conner said the class “encompasses learning in the classroom and in the surrounding community.”
“Students learn academics and valuable employable job skills for in the future,” Conner said. “Our students are proud of how they will transition into important members of society.”