German Village Gazette

Dec. 6-8 at fairgrounds

More than 400 artists to participate in Winterfair


Handmade art and original paintings and photography from more than 400 American artists will be featured next month at the Ohio Designer Craftsmen's 37th annual Winterfair.

For nearly four decades, the nonprofit Ohio Design Craftsmen has hosted a winter art showcase to support American artists, promote visual art and raise money for arts-related youth education and professional development programming.

Winterfair, which returns to the Ohio Exposition Center Dec. 6-8, draws close to 20,000 visitors each year, said Ohio Designer Craftsmen Executive Director Sharon Kokot.

Those who attend meet with artists from across the country, participate in crafting workshops and can purchase handmade jewelry, ceramics, glass and sculptures, as well as original paintings and photos.

"This is our 37th year," Kokot said. "The reason we keep coming back each year and we keep bringing some 400 artists from throughout the country to Columbus is because of the support we receive from people in central Ohio and beyond.

"Every year, between 16,000 and 18,000 people come out and shop and help support the artists' careers."

Admission to Winterfair is $7 per person at the door, but there is no charge for children ages 12 and younger. A ticket provides access for the entire three-day event, which will be open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Dec. 6 and 7 and from noon to 5 p.m. Dec. 8.

Additionally, discounted $5 tickets can be purchased in advance at the Ohio Craft Museum, 1665 W. Fifth Ave., Columbus.

The Grandview-area museum is owned and operated by the Ohio Designer Craftsmen.

"Everything is made in America," Kokot said. "Besides the selections of handmade, American items made by wonderful artists, there are opportunities for people to do hands-on crafting themselves.

"There will be cartoons, card-making with Thurber House and a workshop for making bird feeders with the Grange Insurance Audubon Center," she said. "They can shop, they can eat here and there's a wine bar."

While artists from 30 states will be on hand, central Ohio also will be represented.

Among those participating are Columbus artist Kaname Takada, who will showcase functional and decorative ceramic platters, and Columbus-area artist Leah Wong, who will create fantasy animals using Chinese paper-cutting techniques.

"People will make snowflakes," Kokot said. "Because we have 18,000 visitors, we hope to get a blizzard of snowflakes."

Kokot said the artists keep proceeds from their sales.

The event's admission fees support the Ohio Designer Craftsmen. In addition to operating the Ohio Craft Museum, the organization presents five major art exhibitions each year, as well as focus exhibits and a rotating display of the permanent collection.

Funds from Winterfair ticket sales also support the Ohio Craft Museum's Craft Research Library and educational workshops and events for people of all ages and levels of experience.

"You support the artists in Winterfair, you support the Ohio Designer Craftsmen and you support exhibits and education programs," Kokot said. "It's really a win-win-win."

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