In an effort to help promote Brenau University’s community and art, Allison Lauricella and Claudia Wilburn decided to put together a Holiday Arts and Crafts Market last year. After a successful first year, it’s coming back with even more vendors and in a larger location.
It’s set for 4 to 6 p.m. Nov. 16 and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Nov. 17 in the Sellars Gallery at Brenau.
“It is the chance for members of the Brenau community to sell work they’ve created,” said Lauricella, assistant gallery director at Brenau. “It’s a wide range of things. We have ceramics, there’s jewelry, there’s hand-knitted items, there’s original artwork.”
The only qualification is it has to be handmade by someone in the Brenau community. But the event is open to the entire community. Lauricella said 200 to 300 people stopped by last year to check out the six vendors and numerous items on the student table.
This year, there are 24 vendors — four of which will be occupied by students — showing up to the event to sell the things they’ve made. The student table, which is filled with items made by Brenau students “who may not have enough work on their own to have a full table to themselves, but who wanted to participate,” will have many more items than last year, too.
Emily Zank, owner of Ephemera Aesthetic will be there selling all of her items, which are made from vintage books. She’ll have necklace pendants, ornaments and zippered pouches among other things.
Lainey Kennedy will be there, too. His company, LK Designs, sells an array of hand-painted items.
“It really is the chance for our community to let people in the Gainesville community know what we make and what we’re capable of,” Lauricella said. “It’s an opportunity for people who are just starting out to kind of get their foot in the door, to see what the craft fair is all about, too.”
Lauricella said the event grew by word-of-mouth. Last year, they didn’t have as much time to prepare, but enough people came by to look at items and purchase things that the event has quadrupled in size.
Even though there are more vendors than last year, she said it’s still a less intimidating market than a lot of others and that’s the way they want to keep it.
“We’re trying to encourage people who may not have a giant booth set up and years of experience,” Lauricella said. “We’re trying to get people to think about what they have and make that’s marketable and to really experiment with that. People that came last year and saw what was going on really wanted to be a part of it.”
In addition to the items for sale inside the Sellars Gallery, Brenau students will be outside doing screen printing demonstrations. Lauricella said the students will screen print Brenau-related things on items guests bring by.
While there are a lot of events around Gainesville for students to join and show off their crafts, Lauricella said she wanted an event for students to get involved in together.
“We also wanted to create an event where they could really have some ownership of it with organizing the stuff on the table, gathering artwork, thinking about what they want to sell,” Lauricella said. “It’s really just an outlet for them to sell their work and have another event they can get invested in and get excited about.”
And if they make a little money selling the items while they’re at it, Lauricella said that’s not a bad thing.
“We all made a nice little chunk of change (last year),” Lauricella said. “And the unique thing about this is Brenau’s not taking a cut at all. It’s strictly an opportunity for people of our community to promote their work.”
Holiday Arts and Crafts Market
Where: Sellars Gallery, Simmons Visual Arts Center, 200 Blvd., Gainesville
When: 4 to 6 p.m. Nov. 16 and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Nov. 17
More info: 770-534-6263.