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Seasonal community open houses and markets abound

The Christmas Holiday season is in full swing and three annual events that are held traditionally at this time have special appeal to arts enthusiasts locally.

Both the Holiday Arts Market and Holiday Miniature Show bring groups of artists to celebrate the bounty of artsy gifts; and local artists, Ron Dale and Jere Allen open the doors to their studios to welcome holiday visitors.

Plan now to visit the Holiday Arts Market at the Powerhouse Community Arts Center from Friday until Sunday to buy local arts and crafts from over a dozen local vendors. The market opens Friday at 1 p.m. with a reception planned from 5-6 p.m. featuring refreshments. The market will stay open until 10 p.m.

On Saturday, the doors will be open from 9 a.m. through 10 p.m., and again on Sunday from noon-5 p.m. Throughout the weekend, performances of Theatre Oxford’s production of “Mousetrap” by Agatha Christie will be running, so you can see a play and get some shopping done in the same building.

Just down Highway 7 South in Water Valley will be the Ninth Annual Holiday Miniatures Show at Bozarts Gallery. For years, this popular show has drawn visitors from surrounding communities to kick off the holiday season. The show’s theme is simple; all works hanging in the front gallery has to be small, no larger than eight inches by eight inches to be exact.

Alliance members and invited guests each submit up to four pieces to be displayed. Dozens of works hang on the walls, beckoning viewers to take them home for the holidays. In the past, pieces have ranged from drawings, paintings, collages to sculptures, fiber pieces and more.

Imagination and creativity are hallmarks of this show as artists challenge themselves to work in the smaller format. This smaller size has a benefit to shoppers as the pieces are made especially for giving and more affordably priced than larger pieces. The gallery puts out a lovely spread on this festive night; welcoming visitors, familiar and new alike.

The opening reception will be held Friday from 6-9 p.m. at 403 Main Street in Water Valley. Extended hours for the gallery will begin in December for the holiday season, which include Tuesdays through Thursday from noon to 5 p.m., Fridays from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. These special days and times will continue through Dec. 20. For more information, call 662-473-2484.

Local sculptor, Ron Dale traditionally opens his studio to the public for the holidays and this year is no exception. Stop by to see his lovely pottery and sculptures in the picturesque studio in which he works. Located at 44 CR 411, his studio will be open from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. His open house is in conjunction with his friend and fellow artist, Jere Allen. Allen’s studio is located at 130 Alderson Road behind C&M Package Store.

This weekend is a great opportunity to support local artists and their artwork.

ANDI BEDSWORTH is owner of Art To Go, which brings free art opportunities to children in the community.