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Art Center’s Holiday Market Opens

Santa will stop by Dec. 9 and 16.

A creative, stress-free holiday shopping experience awaits at the Orion Art Center’s 12th annual holiday market, which opened Nov. 29.

The market is located next to Diamond Dave’s at 424 South Lapeer Road (across from McDonald’s) in Lake Orion. It’s guaranteed to be one of a kind because it brings together original art in various mediums from local artists.

“It’s a wonderful way to support local artists and small businesses,” said art center director Lauren Dinneweth. “To find something truly unique and special for someone for Christmas, that’s hard to do.

As artists were setting up the market this week, shelves were stocked with jewelry, pottery, painting, cards, textiles, photography, clothing and more. Charlotte Wall was hanging pins she and her sister, Donna Binando, made from watch parts, as well as Wall’s pen-and-ink holiday cards.

A new member of the art center, Wall moved back to the area last year. She didn’t participate in last year’s sale, “but I did manage to buy something. Some of this stuff is so gorgeous.” Her purchase was a hand-painted ornament. “I can’t wait to get it out again,” she said.

“The holiday market is different than a show because people are coming to buy gifts specifically,” Dinneweth said. “But having said that, you’re coming to an artist market. You’re going to find things that are unique. And it’s fun too.”   

The market is good for the local economy too, she said. “Artists are small business owners. When you think about all the artists that are out there adding to the economy, it’s important. Not many communities have their own art center. We just try to infuse art at every level.”

Dinneweth said she encourages OAC member artists to include merchandise at various price points and package it for gift giving. For example, she’s transformed some of her painted photographs into necklaces and packaged them in small metal tins.

This year Santa will make guest appearances at the holiday market on two Sundays, December 9 and 16 from noon-4 p.m. Families are encouraged to bring their little ones and take photos. Admission is free.

The Holiday Market will be open daily Nov. 30-Dec. 22. Hours are Monday-Saturday noon-8 and Sunday noon-4 p.m. For more information call the Orion Art Center at (248) 693-4986 or visit www.orionartcenter.org.

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