By CHERIL VERNON
PALESTINE — Several local artists will be featured in Main Street Palestine's Christmas Pop-Up Art Gallery, which will be open for the next two weekends. The opening reception will be held from 4 to 8 p.m. today.
The Pop-Up Art Gallery concept provides a venue for local artists of all kinds to come together in the Palestine Main Street District and display and sell their work with no fee to participate. The Gallery partners with property owners who have vacant, historically significant buildings who will allow the artists to utilize their space for a couple of weeks at a time.
This time the gallery is located in the Farris Building at 213 W. Oak St.
“We have worked very hard to transform this historic space into an art gallery in a very short amount of time. This is a wonderful partnership that provides an ideal venue for promoting local artwork. We have local artists showing work in nature photography, pottery, portraiture and sketching, folk art, water color, oil on canvas and pop culture,” said Palestine Economic Development Corp. Assistant Director Greg Laudadio.
Participating artists include:
• Janet Weston — Folk art, painted cypress knees
• John Debessonet — Acrylic on canvas.
• Shirley White — Portrait sketching and painting
• Greg Laudadio — Landscape and nature photography
• Pam Smith — Mosaics
• Jan Decker — Oil and water color painting
• Pattie and Leonard Lucas — Pottery
• Michael Yanez — Pop culture art
• Jacqui Hamel — Painting
Wine and snacks will be provided for the opening reception today. Doors will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and from noon to 6 p.m. on Sunday. The following week, hours will be from noon to 6 p.m. Dec. 20, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Dec. 21 and from noon to 6 p.m. on Dec. 22. There is no fee to visit the art gallery.
“I think people will enjoy visiting the gallery to see the artists' work and the event will coincide with a lot of the holiday events in the Main Street area,” Laudadio said. “We have a nice mix of artists. It will be a good place to do a little last-minute Christmas shopping.
Cash, checks and credit cards will be accepted for purchasing the artwork. Works start at $20 and go up to several hundred dollars.
White will be available for portrait sketching and painting with 45-minute to one-hour settings. Pencil portraits are $30 and pastel portraits are $125. She also can work from photographs.
“It's a great way to utilize unused space. The city paid for the cleanup costs, electricity and water,” Laudadio said. “It's a very small price to pay for the admiration of arts in our community.”
Artwork featured in the gallery ranges from scar-nose head-jugs from local potter Leonard Lucas from Crockett, mosaic pieces by Pam Smith and folk art Santa Clauses made from cypress tree parts.
Co-curator and artist John Debessonet was credited with doing a lot of the legwork for the show, Laudadio said.
Artist Janet Decker is showing her art for the first time.
“Janet was a visitor at our last show and mentioned she dabbled in art, so we invited her to participate,” Laudadio said. “We hope other artists will stop by and register for future shows.
For more information on this program, contact the Main Street office at 903-723-3014.