By LOIS KINDLE
Looking for a unique, one-of-a-kind gift for yourself or someone special this holiday season? If so, the second annual Made by Hand show and sale of local art and fine crafts may be exactly the place to find it.
The Firehouse Cultural Center is hosting the event, which will take place from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Nov. 23 at 101 First Ave. NE, Ruskin. About 30 vendors will be selling everything from jewelry, sculpture, pottery and glassworks to paintings, wooden furniture, lamps and more.
At least two different food trucks, Sugar Britches and Bearcakes, and Cypress Creek Co-op will have food items available.
Four-hundred people turned out for last year’s inaugural event. “I was so surprised how well we did for our first year,” said lifelong artist and Ringling College of Art & Design faculty emerita Dee Hood, co-organizer of Made by Hand. “Interest was high, and it was very well-received. We’re hoping for an even bigger show this year,” she said.
“The turnout for last year’s show was very impressive,” said Hood’s co-organizer and fellow artist Kate Hamilton. “Our South Shore community is so supportive, and they enjoy the fun and family-oriented events the Firehouse Cultural Center hosts. This year’s show is an opportunity for people to meet some new artists who couldn’t attend last year, as well as their returning favorites. I think the community is looking forward to this year’s show and sale almost as much we are,” she said.
Returning vendors will include Hood, Patricia Yontz, Anita Jimenez, Vicki Knauff, Pam Ross, Linda Smith, Suzie Bredbenner and Hamilton. New this time will be Fred Rothenbush, Joe Warrington, Margit Redlawsk, Jeanine Tatlock, Karen Bishop and many more. All offerings are original and handcrafted.
“Last year’s event was wonderful, and we received such great feedback,” said Beth Stein, marketing and operations coordinator for the Firehouse Cultural Center. “So this year we’re doing it bigger and better. For example, we’re widening our view of Made by Hand by including Cypress Creek Co-op, more food offerings and microgreens grower Dario Rodriguez, owner of The Box, Eco-Urban Farming.”
Made by Hand will also feature the works of Firehouse Cultural Center art students on stage in the Black Box Theater: figure drawing, various forms of printing, watercolors, acrylics and clay. Some of their work may be purchased. Event vendors will be stationed in the theater, parking lot and studio building.
“This is a wonderful event for Christmas shopping,” Hood said, who will be selling her power necklaces, good luck charms, earrings and other items. “There will be one-of-a-kind gifts you won’t find elsewhere, and your purchase will be supporting local artists and the Firehouse Cultural Center.” Admission is free.
IF YOU GO
Who: Thirty local artists and fine crafters
What: Made by Hand show and sale
Where: Firehouse Cultural Center, 101 First Ave. NE, Ruskin
When: 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Nov. 23
Admission: Free to event; food for sale by Buttman BBQ and Rockstar Lobster food trucks, Sugar Britches, Bearcakes and Cypress Creek Co-op
Information: Call 813-645-7651