Clinton area artists featured at Rome Art & Community Center holiday fundraiser

Published Nov 7, 2018 at 4:00pm

ROME — Several artists regularly featured at Clinton’s Artisans’ Corner store will have their wares available for sale during Rome Art & Community Center’s annual Holiday House fundraiser celebration starting Nov. 8.

Marking its 31st year, this year’s Holiday House theme is Deck the Halls and serves as the art center’s largest fund-raiser of the year. The event will be held right at the art center, 308 W. Bloomfield St.

“Holiday House presents the best of local artisan, craft, and food vendors,” RACC Executive Director Jean Lieber said. “Shop in a festive and elegant atmosphere for clothing, jewelry, glassware, ornaments, and other unique gifts.”

Among the “old favorites” this year are several vendors from the Artisans’ Corner in Clinton, and cookbooks by Roman Holly Amidon. Artisans’ Corner artists will feature an array of their goods, from stoneware pottery decorated with leave designs, quilted table runners and designer fleece hats and mittens to Irish cookies, paintings on silk and festive bird houses.

Rick Stricker sold his unique bird houses, made of recycled old treasures, at the Holiday House last year. He enjoyed the show so much, as well as the Rome area residents that he met, and decided to offer the “fun” opportunity to his fellow artists at the Artisans’ Corner in Clinton, located right next door to Alteri’s Restaurant.

“I was up here last year and thought it was a great venue, and I just loved the people,” Stricker said. “I even attended the gala and was trying to get everyone” with the Artisans’ Corner, “to attend the gala this year with me.”

“It’s a great show because it’s before the holidays and it gives people the chance to consider different gift options and ideas,” he said. “I brought in my fellow artisans this year because I had so much fun” last year “I thought everyone else should too.”

The Holiday House opens with a Gala on Thursday, Nov. 8, at
6 p.m. — an elegant evening with appetizers by A Moveable Feast, and drinks from Black River Wine & Spirits and Copper City Brewing. Admission is $30, $50 per couple in advance, $35/$60 at the door.

Shopping Weekends are Nov. 9-11 and 16-18, with an admission cost of $3. Hours are Fridays, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Saturdays, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Sundays from noon to 4 p.m.

There will be a special Ladies Night on Thursday, Nov. 15, from 6 to 9 p.m. A $10 ticket includes a complimentary glass of wine, hors d’oeuvres and chocolates.

Last Wednesday, some of the Artisans’ Corner artists were already busy setting up their booths and tables of wares for the Holiday House show.

Stricker, owner of Bellflower Farm Birdhouses, made multiple trips up to the art center’s second floor with his homemade wooden bird houses, where a special room will be dedicated to the crafts and wares sold by the Clinton-area artists. The woodsman uses recycled materials and special artifacts he’s found at various estate sales or that have been given to him by his neighbors. They may include old fencing, door knobs, faucets, horseshoes and other decorative trinkets, like iron moose heads and expired license plates.

“I was brought up on a farm, so a lot of the stuff for my birdhouses comes from my workshop, where I have things from here and there,” Stricker said. “I’ll go to estate sales and there will be wood, doorknobs and other materials families don’t think to sell or get rid of that I find in garages.

I’ve even had people drop stuff off. I have 2-3 people in Clinton who will drop off wood or other things they may find for me.”

Carol Riley of Frosty Days: Clothing and Felted Scarves, was also setting up her goods at the art center. She mentioned that her hats, mittens, scarves and fingerless gloves would not only be featured at RACC, but at two other area shows at the same time.

After it being “some time” since she’s taken part in the RACC Holiday House, Riley said she was excited to be back at Rome’s English Tudor-style mansion.

“I think it’s a fabulous idea that we all got together for this show,” Riley said. “We’ll be in one room with all handmade goods. The show is done boutique-style, so it’s a lot of bring and sell. I hope the show goes well” for us “and it goes well for Rome as well.”

Besides Stricker and Riley, there will be at least 7-8 artists from the Artisans’ Corner participating, including Jean Card with her stoneware pottery that is oven, dishwasher and microwave safe. She also sells glass cutting boards made from melted wine and beverage bottles.

Claudia Loomis Chandler will feature her knit and woven apparel, as well as bath accessories and luxurious handmade soaps. She will also have cards and hand-signed prints for sale.

Colleen Bogan will have her Irish Dreams cookies, with some made from Irish Cream and Kahlua. She offers chocolate oatmeal, oatmeal cranberry spice, triple chocolate and chocolate malt.

Jan Rumbutis will sell her hand-panted silk shirts, canvas art, prints and greeting cards.

“It’s an honor to work in this show with my fellow artisans,” Rumbutis said.

The art center “is a beautiful old home that brings back some nostalgia,” she said.

To pre-order tickets for the RACC Holiday House event, call the art center at 315-336-1040. For more information, e-mail 

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