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December 20, 2009

From the Sound Report

Written by Greg Maker
Friday, 18 December 2009 14:37

Shopping imagsAs the holiday season approaches, the economic recession looms large. Even though shoppers want to get something special for that special someone, prices often times make it impossible. The New Rochelle Business Improvement District (BID) has a solution: low priced gifts from local artists. This weekend is the final chance for consumers to get down to BID Gallery 542 and check out the merchandise at the First Annual Holiday Arts and Crafts Market. “The idea is to help downtown,” explained director of the BID Gallery Ivar Hyden. “We want to bring traffic during the holiday season not only to the gallery but to other places downtown as well. This space gives artists a community place to sell some of their handcrafted merchandise.”

The market offers items from local vendors mostly under $100 with a lot of items under $25. Items range from pottery to ceramics to paintings.

“This is the first time I’ve ever done something like this and it is pretty good,” said local artist and New Rochelle resident Theresa Beyer. “We have had a lot of people come and hope they find things they like and will buy something for someone special for the holidays.”

According to Executive Director of the BID Ralph DiBart, the BID Gallery was established to support New Rochelle’s long history with the arts and to provide people with another way to enjoy downtown.

“Based upon its success and the continually positive response to the gallery from the community, we are looking at options for expanding this program in 2010,” DiBart said.

The market was a last-minute idea for the BID with Cornell Pace lending the space out to the group. Hyden called the gesture very “generous.” Cornell Pace has the space rented out beginning on the first day of the new year, but artists are still looking for a place to show off their work.

“It is my honest belief that arts are good for business,” Hyden said. “It has been proven with nights of openings of 250 to 300 people. The arts brought business to retailers and restaurants. This market is not only about the arts but as a vehicle to bring people downtown.” Please register or login to add your comments to this article.
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