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Emphasis on gift-giving Kenan holiday show offers artistry from varied perspectives

From plaster to porcelain -- not to mention gourmet food, quilts, hats, dolls and glassware -- the Kenan Arts Council's holiday gift show has almost anything an artistic holiday gift-giver would want.

The 27th annual show at the Kenan Center, 433 Locust St., is open from 5 to 9 p.m. Friday and will continue from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 11 to 5 Sunday.

Co-chairwoman Joyce Lane said the exhibitors were chosen last spring by a jury of five council members. "There are always more applications than we have spaces," she said.

"It's not Grandma's crafty pot-holders; it's upscale art," said Peg Smith, who turns 93 next month and has been volunteering at the show since 1977.

Lane said that not all of it is upscale. "I prefer to think of it as quality crafts in a wide price range," she said.

But the show does have offerings that you just can't find anyplace else.

Jane Way of Lockport will present chalkware, made with special plaster that produces Santas from 30 different molds.

Roy Ticen of East Aurora, who has been in the Kenan Center's springtime 100 American Craftsmen show, will be on hand with assorted products made of "found wood" and twisted timber.

From the Town of Boston comes Samuel Haney, who specializes in custom-made cyphering, with the first letter of a customer's last name being entwined with all the other letters in the name in pen and ink.

Some of the small trees outside the center have been decorated with mittens, which will brighten up the scene and then will be donated to the Salvation Army after the show.

As always, the show will be spread through the Kenan House, the education building and a carriage house, Lane said. Also, a catered lunch with gourmet soups and sandwiches from Shamus, one of Lockport's leading restaurants, will be offered.

Three giant gift baskets, each packed with hundreds of dollars worth of prizes, will be raffled off in the Taylor Theater at about 5:30 p.m. Sunday. Raffle tickets are $2 each, eight for $5 or 20 for $10.

The baskets have tickets to local theater or musical performances, restaurant gift certificates, bottles of Niagara County wine and spa treatments.
Wenda Behm, an Arts Council member who was in charge of lining up sponsors, said that it was not too difficult.

"We've gotten so much support from the community. It's really a pleasure to work with Lockport. They really appreciate what the Kenan Center does," she said.
Proceeds from the show help the Arts Council support Kenan Center programs, including grants to local art teachers and their projects; the Kenan greenhouse renovation fund; and the Family Performance Series and ARTiculations program, which sponsor appearances by touring artists and in-school art-enrichment activities. In all, the Arts Council has been able to donate more than $60,000 to these programs over the years.

Also, the show provides funds for three $750 scholarships each year, awarded to local high school students planning careers in the arts.

Admission to the show is $3.


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