By NANETTE LoBIONDO GALLOWAY
VENTNOR – This year’s Ventnor Cultural Arts Center Art Show and Sale offers an opportunity to purchase holiday gifts while supporting local artisans. The show, held Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 2-3 at the center, 6500 Atlantic Ave., offers a variety of handcrafted items exclusively made by local artists, the center’s Executive Director Sue Van Duyne Hunter said.
The show has been held annually for the last 15 years as a way to showcase local artists, many of whom teach at the Cultural Arts Center.
“People tell us they are coming late on Saturday, so they can go right to the parade at 5 p.m.,” she said.
Galloway resident Kim Goodwin was out shopping and purchased an upcycled chandelier crystal that was etched with a holiday theme.
“It says ‘Let it Snow.’ I love it,” she said, holding it up to the light.
Vendor Gretchen Hulse of Crescent Moon Clothing, who lives in Chaddsford, Pennyslvania, but summers in Margate, was there selling her original clothing designs. With a tagline of “Art to Wear for Everyday,” some of her biggest sellers are denim jackets and vests appliqued with Mexican artist Freida Kahlo’s paintings and scarves that are hand quilted with oversized stitches.
It was her first time vending at the winter market, but she is a mainstay at the Ventnor City Farmers Market during the summer and at the center’s Ocean Breeze Art Show in July.
“I could never get in this show. I’m glad they found a spot for me this year, so people can get to see my winter line of clothing,” she said.
She also maintains a shop at Stainton’s cooperative in Ocean City that’s open year-round.
Also tabling at the event were the folks at Ventnor Fountain Friends, which recently signed a memorandum of agreement with the city to replace the deteriorating fountain at the historic Ventnor Water Works building that overlooks the Intracoastal Waterway. Their table was located outside the Ventnor City Historical Society Museum, where former Mayor and Historical Society volunteer Tim Kreischer was able to find a binder filled with information about the Water Works building.
“We’re starting to look for grant funding to help get the fountain replaced,” Barbara Sullivan said.
Dawn Sena, who is spearheading the effort with Tina LoBiondo, said the fountain originally had a beautiful figurine on top that went missing many years ago.
“No one knows what happened to it,” she said, “but when it was originally built 100 years ago, the sculptor, a man named Rheinhold Mory, had a beautiful figurine of a nude woman on top, and the city went into an uproar over it. The city made the sculptor come back and put clothes on her.”
An old newspaper clipping in the binder revealed a photograph of the dressed woman, with a caption that read, “So shocked were the city fathers that the artist not wishing to further wound their feelings, dressed the maiden up in a bathing suit and cape…and now all is peace and quiet in Ventnor.”
The art show and sale continues 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 3.
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