Holiday Artisan Markets Adapt to COVID-19

Looking for gift ideas? For this year’s holiday shopping season, several local Montgomery County arts markets have opened with new socially distant formats.

Montgomery County native artists and artisans have crafted an assortment of one-of-a-kind gifts to be sold at local businesses, galleries and community engagement centers that are doing their best to survive during these challenging times.

Gaithersburg’s Arts Barn art education program coordinator and acting gallery coordinator Jaree Donnelly noted that many art and craft shows have had to be canceled in and around Montgomery County during the pandemic. As a result, local artists and artisans have seen a downturn in their personal studio business.

After much planning, Arts Barn has managed to arrange a holiday art market that gives local artists an opportunity to showcase and sell their work as well as provide a safe unique experience for patrons. To contain the number of visitors, guests must make an appointment in order to attend.

“We’ve had people coming in just because they’ve missed being able to go out and see art. They can’t go to normal galleries or museums or things like that so they’re really appreciating the opportunity of coming out and seeing something beautiful,” Donnelly told MyMCM.

The Holiday Art Market show chair and artist Jeanne Sullivan said creators from the Gaithersburg Artist Collective worked for five days setting up the show, and the turnout did not disappoint, whether speaking of the beauty of the show or the number of visitors thus far.

“I think it looks beautiful how the pottery and the glass and everything just complements each other–where you see a color on the wall from a watercolor and then the next on the pottery, or the jewelry and with the glint of the silver—everything just worked so well together,” Sullivan said.

All of the local holiday arts and crafts markets will have different handcrafted potential gifts ranging from ornaments, home decor, artwork, hand-forged jewelry, quilts, pottery, and other arts and crafts.

Open through December, these market options are sure to be cheerful and stocked with special gifts for everyone:

The Holiday Art Market at Arts Barn in Gaithersburg

This market will be open by appointment only, through Dec 30. The Gaithersburg Artist Collective, a juried group of 32 talented individuals working in a wide variety of mediums, brings its popular ‘Artists on Market’ pop-up gallery to the Arts Barn for the holiday season.

Sandy Spring Museum’s Annual Fine Arts & Crafts Holiday Gift Show

The museum is located in the city of Sandy Spring and the gift show will be open through Dec. 23. Due to COVID-19, the number of guests allowed in the building will be limited to reflect the Montgomery County guidelines. Guests must hand sanitize upon entry. Social distancing and masks are required.

“Mini Maker Pop Up” at The Family Room in Laytonsville

This arts and crafts local business is hosting pop-ups in front of their store on weekends until Dec. 20. Along with their Maryland made and inspired products, lifestyle and home decor gifts, this shop sells coffee and ice cream for patrons to enjoy while perusing through vendors’ goods. Despite being outdoors, social distancing and masks are required.

Outdoor Craft & Artisan Pop Up Market in Olney

This pop-up market will be hosted at the Olney Antique Village on Dec. 5, 9 and 12 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. All vendors will be spaced 10 feet apart. Social distancing and masks are required.

Glen Echo Holiday Art Show & Sale

This show and sale features work by Glen Echo Park’s resident artists and instructors and is open till Jan. 5, 2021. The Park’s major resident visual arts organizations are represented, including the Art Glass Center, Glen Echo Glassworks, Glen Echo Pottery, SilverWorks, Photoworks, the Sculpture Studio, the Stone Tower Studio, and the Yellow Barn Studio. RSVP is recommended, but not obligatory. Social distancing and masks are required.

Countryside Artisans Self-Guided Tour

The Countryside Artisans represent a select group of accomplished visual, sculptural, and textile artists that jointly opened their galleries and studios for special art tours by appointment only. Each studio is located within a 30-mile radius of Sugarloaf Mountain. Social distancing and masks are required when touring.

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Nicolle Schorchit

About Nicolle Schorchit

Nicolle Schorchit is a senior dual degree student in plant sciences and multiplatform journalism at the University of Maryland. You can contact her at nschorchit@mymcmedia.org or on Twitter @SchorchitN.

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