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Traditional Arts in Upstate New York prepares for holiday season

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CANTON — Traditional Arts in Upstate New York is getting ready for the holiday season by continuing 9-year-long traditions and starting some new ones as well.

The nonprofit organization, 53 Main St., will be setting up its first-ever holiday showcase next week.

“This is an expansion of the Folk Store for six weeks,” said Jill R. Breit, executive director of TAUNY. “We’re going to be carrying more work by the artists people expect to see here and also carrying the work of people we don’t normally carry.”

Ms. Breit said that TAUNY has been hearing more often of artists having a difficult time finding places to sell their work.

“TAUNY’s involved with a regional project right now to really try to strengthen the arts and creative economy in the 14 northern counties of the state,” she said. “We thought, for the holiday season, we would try expanding our retail store into the exhibit gallery and close the exhibit down a few weeks earlier than we normally would.”

Sara J. Ricalton, Folk Store associate, said the plan is to open the showcase during the Friends Reception Nov. 15, which is by invitation only and is a way of saying thank you to the people who have donated money and supported TAUNY over the years.

“For the holidays, we thought it would be neat to try this new concept because we don’t have another exhibit coming in,” Ms. Ricalton said. “It’s a way for us to offer some larger pieces that we wouldn’t normally be able to have in the store because of space.”

From wooden furniture to framed artwork, handcrafted bowls and ceramic pieces, the holiday showcase will mean increased exposure for artists and more sales opportunities for TAUNY, according to Ms. Ricalton.

“We’re hoping to get new traffic with people who haven’t been here before that stop in and give it a try,” Ms. Breit said.

The holiday showcase will be open until Christmas Eve.

TAUNY also will be sponsoring an annual gingerbread workshop from 9 a.m. to noon this Saturday at Canton Presbyterian Church, 17 Park St.

The workshop has been taught by Susan J. Wilder, Stormville, for the past nine years. She comes into town with loads of candy and bring the parts of the houses as well, according to Ms. Breit.

“We started doing that because we have an annual gingerbread house contest and display,” Ms. Breit said. “We realized that a lot of people had never made gingerbread houses before, so we thought that we should teach them how.”

The gingerbread contest will begin Dec. 7.

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