Keweenaw Art Affair kicks off holiday shopping

(Provided photo) Potter Bill Haggerty stands in his display at the Keweenaw Art Affair. Proceeds from the event go toward local art programs.

HOUGHTON — This weekend, Copper Country has the chance to kick off their holiday shopping in a way that also helps support the development of local artists. The Keweenaw Art Affair, Saturday Nov. 9, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Houghton High School, has donated all its profits to local school’s art departments, the Copper Country Community Arts Center, artist in residence programs and other not-for-profit art organizations. To date, their donations total more than $16,000.

“I think art is very important, for young minds and old minds,” Donna Lenard said.

Lenard is one of the artists who sets up a booth at the art show. She is a self-taught watercolorist who makes and sells prints, bookmarks, cards, magnets and more. She has been attending the Affair since 2012.

“It’s a really well-attended event,” she said.

Proceeds from booth fees, concession sales and donations are divided among different programs each year, but focus is currently on Houghton and Hancock school art departments. Last year, the Hancock Elementary and Houghton High School and Elementary art departments were each given $225, as well as the CCCAC and the Friends of the Porkies artist in residence program. Ronda Bogan said the money is spent on things ranging from a sewing machine to basic art supplies.

(Provided photo) Amy Forsell shows off a piece of her jewelry at the Keweenaw Art Affair in Houghton.

According to Bogan, the show is juried to encourage a range of artist media as well as a few new artists each year. They focus on original works, typically handmade.

“Nothing mass-produced,” Bogan said.

More than 40 artists attend each year, coming from as far as Wisconsin, Minnesota and downstate Michigan.

The planning committee also reserves booth space for non-profit organizations and demonstrations. Last year, the Kivajat Dancers made a stop at the Affair during their fundraising efforts to go to Finland.

Other organizations pitch in, too.

“The high school has worked with us all along for 14 years,” Bogan said.

Local Boy Scout Troop 207 also helps with set-up and tear down as one of their annual service projects.

For more information, visit the Keweenaw Art Affair Holiday Art Sale page on Facebook, or call (906)367-3567.