Each December, the gift shopping struggle is always the same. In a sea of online retailers and chain stores clamoring for your attention about deep discounts and one-time specials, it can be a challenge to dive through the cacophony and come up for air with the perfect present. Instead of letting the stress of it all deter you, let the local scene set you free. There’s a wealth of handcraft professionals who call the Hudson Valley home, and now there’s a handy way to forgo the mall and support the area’s artisans instead.
This year, Arts Mid-Hudson, the nonprofit arts service organization that serves Dutchess, Orange, and Ulster counties, shines a spotlight on the valley’s creative souls with the return of the Dutchess Handmade Pop-Up Shop. During the event, which runs Mondays to Saturdays until December 16, the general public can stop by the organization’s Poughkeepsie space to browse and shop the wares from dozens of talented professionals. With more than 70 jewelry makers, woodworkers, potters and weavers in attendance, there is something for everyone on your list.
“There are many artists in the Mid-Hudson region that make items that are sold elsewhere, and we thought it would be ideal to create a location where these items could be featured,” explains Linda Marston-Reid, executive director of Arts Mid-Hudson. For the past three years, Marston-Reid and fellow art enthusiasts have joined forces to host the seasonal pop-up shop. This winter marks the temporary shopping destination’s fourth anniversary. Based upon the success of previous pop-ups, 2017 looks to be the best year yet for artists and shoppers alike.
Support the Arts
As a concept, Dutchess Handmade embodies the values that rest at the heart of Arts Mid-Hudson. Not only does it showcase the arts of the region, it also promotes the nonprofit’s community of craft professionals and supporters. The shop, which opened on November 3, gives creators a chance to showcase their wares in an intimate setting and grants area residents a unique opportunity to see the many handmade goods up close and in person. Selective shoppers can inspect the wares themselves instead clicking “Add to Cart” on yet another mass merchandised product. As a bonus, everyone who attends can feel confident knowing the gift-worthy goods are one-of-a-kind and sure to delight any recipient.
“The items are selected for the highest quality, and patrons return every year anticipating the wide variety of items, from cards, collectible glass, and ceramics to woodcraft, paintings, photography, and textile work,” adds Marston-Reid.
Notably, each purchase directly benefits the artists displaying their wares.
“Each year the shop has increased sales, making this a great way for local artists to increase their income,” says Marston-Reid.
Indeed, the event serves as both a shopping destination and an exhibition hub for attendees. The art space houses works from area talents like jewelry artists Lorraine LeClair and Maggie Inge, basket maker Jessica Clark, and ceramicist Barbara Bravo, to name only a few.
Meet the Makers
On top of that, the creatives themselves make special appearances to tie into the open house atmosphere. Shoppers can meet the makers and learn more about the materials and process behind each of the works.
The Dutchess Handmade Pop-Up Shop is open Monday to Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and on Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. For a comprehensive list of the exhibiting artists, visit the Arts Mid-Hudson website.
With gift hunting in full swing, stop by Dutchess Handmade for out-of-the-box presents that will charm everyone on your list. Shop local, meet the makers, and support a good cause. It’s the perfect formula for a magical holiday season.
Learn More at ArtsMidHudson.org, or call (845) 454-3222.
Visit Arts Mid-Hudson at 696 Dutchess Tpke., Suite F, Poughkeepsie, NY.