An art studio that showcases and sells the crafts and creations by local artists has recently set up shop in the heart of downtown Creston.
Located next door to Lectric Avenue on Canyon Street, the Creston Arts and Crafts Studio is home to original artwork produced by 18 local artists and artisans.
“We’ve got a little bit of everything. We have oils, watercolours, acrylics, paper quillings, paintings on feathers, scarfs, pillowcases, napkins, bags, aprons, jewellery,” said Val van der Poel, a multimedia artist and volunteer at the studio.
Local artists Emmie Roelofse and Jenny Steenkamp came up with the idea for the studio in June, three months after the Creston Arts Council closed their gallery and gift shop, according to van der Poel.
“It was that and the fact that so many of us have so much art that we want to get rid of,” said van der Poel.
The non-profit endeavour is run by volunteers, all of whom are artists who have their work showcased in the studio. An art summer student – courtesy of the Creston Arts Council – is helping out at the studio until the end of the month.
“The condition of displaying their work in there means they have to volunteer, so hopefully all 18 of them will volunteer,” said van der Poel. “It’s a co-op. It’s not costing them anything.”
She added that prices range from $4 for original greeting cards to $550 for the larger art canvases.
“It has to be original work, it has to be hand made by the person putting it in, and it has to be able to be displayed attractively,” she said.
There are no specific criteria that artists have to meet to have their work displayed in the studio.
“As long as it is set up to be displayed attractively. We have everything from naive artists to folk artists. We have crafts, jewelry,” she said.
Having an art studio in the downtown core, van der Poel continued, is “incredibly important.”
“The problem is we have a seniors’ population. Most of them are downsizing, so they’re not buying art. The young people can’t afford it,” she said. “We’ll get some locals who will purchase things, mostly the bigger works. There’s lots of stuff for tourists, things they can slip into a suitcase or whatever.”
The studio is open seven days a week, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. van der Poel said that she hopes it stays that way until the end of September, before closing in October and then re-opening mid-November for the holiday season.
“Hopefully, we will be able to stay open seven days a week. Primarily, it’s going to open when we’re there and closed when we’re not,” she said.
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