, Salem, MA


November 29, 2012

Supporting the arts

Artisans' Holiday Marketplace raises money for Marblehead festival

MARBLEHEAD — The Artisans’ Holiday Marketplace, which will be held this weekend during the Marblehead Christmas Walk, should help visitors get ready for the Fourth of July.

That’s because this annual sale of jewelry, pottery and other handcrafted gifts is held to support the Marblehead Arts Festival, which takes place every year during Independence Day weekend.

“The festival is totally free, so it takes a lot of fundraising during the year,” said Nancy Fromson, who handles publicity for Marblehead Arts.

Other fundraising efforts include an art auction at the beginning of April and a capital campaign that makes direct appeals to everyone in Marblehead.

But this weekend, visitors can help out simply by focusing their attention on the items created by 22 artisans, which will be for sale upstairs in Abbot Hall.

“They’ll be selling jewelry, glass, fine arts, tapestry things, woven baskets, children’s clothing, scarves, purses and handmade things,” Fromson said.

The marketplace has been held for at least 10 years but never gets stale, according to organizer Kiki Taron Kinney.

“We strive to keep the Artisans’ Marketplace fresh and new,” Kinney said, “and not have the same artisans every year. For this year, we’ve got seven new artisans out of the 22.”

“We have a real range of items, with prices ranged for everybody,” she said. “We have a couple who do all-natural soap and body products, another person who does soy candles, and another who does stained-glass ornaments.”

Kinney is happy to point out that several of the new artisans are from Marblehead.

“We have a new potter from Marblehead, Robert Gerson,” she said. “We’ve got a new jeweler, Joyce Mayer Clark, from Marblehead. She has seed beads and gemstones incorporated into her necklaces. She’s known for doing these large bracelet cuffs; they’re real statement pieces.”

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