LOCKPORT – For many, the Kenan Arts Council’s annual Holiday Gift Show is the kickoff of the Christmas shopping season.
Forty-nine vendors, which is one more than last year, are set for the 32nd annual show, which runs from Friday through Sunday in the various buildings of the Kenan Center, 433 Locust St.
“We have about a dozen new crafters,” said Manning McCand-lish, a Lockport artist who is co-chairwoman of the event with Jane Corseer and Barbara Hollasch.
The lineup is chosen by a jury of Kenan Arts Council members in May, Corser said.
Newcomers have to appear in person with examples of their work, while those who have exhibited before are allowed to send in digital photos of what they’ve been working on.
Although the exhibitors are usually from Western New York, there are exceptions. Susan Soleil, of Chapel Hill, N.C., will be offering handmade paper and book restoration, an unusual specialty for the show.
McCandlish said another unusual feature will be a working loom, set up by weaver Peg Cherre, of Friendship.
Cherre’s woven work will be available for purchase.
Bonnie Nelson, of Buffalo, and Dennis Scherer, of Clarence Center, will be displaying different styles of handmade copper jewelry.
Another newcomer, Joelle McAndrew, of Syracuse, will be selling “little cloth dolls with dresses and pets. They are just adorable,” Corser said.
Nicole Johnson, of Tonawanda, is another new vendor. “She makes these creepy creatures called ‘mealy monsters’ out of polymer clay,” Corser said. “She said she sees the faces in her nightmares.”
Elizabeth Cooper, who has been in the show for several years, will be back with more Santas and dolls from her Medina studio.
There will be a few changes in the familiar layout this year. The raffle baskets, which have been increasing in popularity, are being moved to the corner of the Taylor Theater meeting room to make room for Cherre’s loom.
The cafe, catered by Lockport’s Shamus Restaurant, has been moved to the stage of the theater. Last year, it was in the old greenhouse behind the Kenan house.
The relocation of the cafe also means that the “goodie booth,” baked goods donated by Kenan members, had to be moved out of the theater to another outlying building, the potting shed.
“We’ve got that decorated like a gingerbread house,” Corser said.
Just outside the shed, the Kenan Herb Club will be selling its plants. Also, the Kenan Quilters Guild will be raffling off one of its creations.
Corser said organizers hope shoppers will bring preschool-age school supplies, such as crayons, glue, safety scissors and other typical items for small children to use. They are to be donated to local preschools.
Admission for the show is $3. Hours are 5 to 9 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 11 to 5 Sunday. Proceeds benefit the Arts Council’s contributions to Kenan Center programs and help fund the scholarships the council offers to local high school graduates planning to study in art-related fields in college.