Photo by Heather Middleton
By Maria Jose Subiria
Six-year-old Kaylee Jernigan, of Fulton County, leaned against the table full of paint brushes, pens, markers, artificial flowers and construction paper. After carefully gluing several tongue depressors together into a frame, she painted them in rich pink and purple colors.
"Is this something you are making for yourself, or are you making it for someone else?" Karen Powers, gallery manager for Arts Clayton in Jonesboro, asked Jernigan.
"My momma," said Jernigan.
According to Powers, this is Arts Clayton's first year offering the "Handmade Holiday" program to the public. Adults and children are welcome to come together to create unique gifts on Dec. 5, Dec. 11 and Dec. 19, from 10 a.m., to 4 p.m., at the Arts Clayton Gallery, 136 South Main St., in Jonesboro. The cost is $5 per participant, per day.
Powers said patrons will be able to create a different project each day the program is scheduled to take place. Projects can include ornaments, candles, decoupage art work and other items.
"With the economy being the way it was, we wanted to help people and kids give creative gifts to loved ones and friends," said Powers.
The "Handmade Holiday" program began this month, with participants making frames, paper place mats, bookmarks and coasters, said Powers.
Wendy McNamee, a Jonesboro resident, said she is Jernigan's big sister, through the Big Brothers Big Sisters of America program.
McNamee said she figured Jernigan would enjoy "Handmade Holiday," because she and Jernigan worked on creative Halloween projects last month.
"I like doing that type of stuff too, so we are a good match," McNamee said.
Powers said the projects available through "Handmade Holiday" are geared toward children from preschool to middle-school age.
"Art, really you can't test it, and it's a way kids can learn to make a lot of choices ... Of course, doing things like this helps us reach out to the community and meet different people," said Powers.
Powers said she was able to come up with gift ideas with the help of Linda Kirchner, director of children's programming at Arts Clayton.
Arts Clayton has all of the art supplies needed for participants to create their handmade gifts, explained Powers. The supplies were obtained through community donations and programs such as Arts Clayton's ArtVan.
"We have two vans full of art supplies," said Powers.
"Handmade Holiday" and Arts Clayton's "Santa Saturdays" events will run simultaneously on Dec. 5 and Dec. 19, said Powers. "Santa Saturdays" will take place from 11 a.m., to 3 p.m., at the gallery. Photographer Larry McDonald, of Vintage Photography, will take pictures of children and pets with Santa Claus. Families will have a chance to purchase a 5-inch by 7-inch picture for $6, or other available packages.
"I would love for this ['Handmade Holiday'] to be an annual event that is tied to our holiday programming and all of the things we do here around Christmas," said Powers.
On the net:
Arts Clayton: www.artsclayton.org