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Artists will host double open house in Morristown

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MORRISTOWN – Debra Monteith began making jewelry several years ago by using bike inner tube parts and vinyl records.

“I try to be quite funky,” said Ms. Monteith “I want to be different, and I thrive on different. I love when people come to my booth and comment on how unique my items are.”

Ms. Monteith is one of many community artists who will showcase their work in a Christmas show and double open house from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 1.

The first showcase, located at 200 Gouverneur St., will feature Ms. Monteith’s braided copper wire, recycled aluminum, painted license plates and jewelry from recyclable and eco-friendly materials, including wood, river glass, copper roofing, and lava from her recent trip to Iceland.

A painter for over 20 years, Ms. Monteith said her painting style “ranging from realism to river scenes and the abstract,” has been incorporated into her jewelry.

“I don’t like to make the same thing over and over again,” said Ms. Monteith. “Usually, I like to make one-of-a-kind items, and I never duplicate.”

Carver Jack Taylor will also have work on display, including hand-carved healing birds, roosters from twigs and other wood carvings.

In addition, 10 percent of Ms. Monteith’s profits that day will be donated to Children’s Home of Jefferson County.

“I’d like to make this a yearly event, and in the future have more artists,” Ms. Monteith said.

Mares Wares Pottery will hold an open house at the shop, 3938 Route 37.

“We’re both getting our friends together,” said owner Mary Ann Evans. “We are artisans looking to promote local art. But instead of a doing a studio tour, we’ll offer two great shows in a two-mile radius. At least 15 different artists works will be on display.”

Ms. Evans is a potter who started her first pottery class in 1991 as a student at SUNY Potsdam. She said many people did not believe her when she said she would start a pottery business.

“My passion is sharing art with people in my community,” she said. “If you open your studio to people, you learn so much about people when they see what you do. You learn from each other. You can learn from a novice potter or a veteran potter. The key is keeping your mind open.”

Ms. Evans will offer pottery demonstrations at her open house and certificates for lessons. She said she is hoping to attract a younger generation looking for ways to artistically express themselves.

“I want to promote art awareness for young people, instead of diving into the computer,” said Ms. Evans. “You’re more in tune and engaging with people. Art opens your mind to other avenues of expression, whether it be happy or sad art.”

Both shows will be from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Door prizes will be awarded, with Ms. Monteith’s show offering prizes every hour. Mare’s Wares will also offer acoustic music throughout the day.

Mare’s Wares will have its annual Christmas party featuring the Jack Kelley Little Big Band from 7 to 9 p.m. Dec. 22.

For more information, contact Ms. Monteith at 375-4869 or Ms. Evans at 375-8214.

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