By Julia Peoples
The Yoknapatawpha Arts Council is ringing in the holiday season with several fundraisers they hope will raise the majority of their annual funding to provide local arts programs and events.
This December, YAC will be hosting their annual Holiday Ornament Auction at the Powerhouse and selling holiday art gift baskets leading up to the event.
The Holiday Ornament Auction will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. on Friday, Dec.13 at the Powerhouse Community Arts Center.
“It is a community event. Since the 70s, when it began, it has grown exponentially,” said Wayne Andrews, YAC director. “From what could be held in someone’s house, to what most people have referred to as the Community Christmas Party. It seems to be kind of after the rush of the season, everyone can kind of relax a bit and have a celebration.”
Attendees will have the opportunity to bid on one-of-a-kind ornaments created by local artists, listen to live music, eat food from 12 local restaurants, and have the opportunity to take pictures with Santa. Former Ole Miss professor of art Jere H. Allen has also donated a Christmas angel painting that will be raffled off.
“The Ornament Auction is something that is deeply personal to me,” Andrews said, “Because it really is a time where the community is giving, both the donors who come in and the artists who create. It’s an ever-changing event. It’s a fun and simple way to get out of the house and come see people in the community.”
For members of the Arts Council, attendance to the Holiday Ornament Auction is free. The membership fee to join the council starts at $35 and includes year-round activities, such as concerts in the Grove and special council discounts for other events as well.
In addition to the auction, YAC is selling holiday art gift baskets for $35 on their website or at the Powerhouse Community Arts Center.
“This is the second year that we are doing the holiday gift baskets,” Andrews said, “Some people can’t make the auction, so we take a few ornaments along with other things made by local artists, about five different locally made artists to create a gift that is a little clever snapshot of Oxford.”
These baskets feature a hand-crafted ornament provided by a local Oxford artist, as well as a combination of a variety of items including a set of four handmade coasters by Two Dog Designs, a tea towel by Vivian Neill and the Oxford Treehouse Gallery, a 2020 calendar or handmade Mississippi magnet by Debbie Myers and Yoktails: An Oxford Cocktail Compendium, published by the Arts Council.
Andrews said the council has a goal of $10,000 for the events this year, which he hopes will help to fund many other community arts projects during the new year.
“The auction is a lot of fun. These fundraisers are a great end of the season, cathartic event to gear back up for the next year,” Andrews said, “We really hope everyone comes out and supports the art community.”
Follow www.oxfordarts.com and the Yoknapatawpha Arts Council on Facebook to see the unique ornaments as they come in.