Alpine Arts Center’s Holiday Market returns with safe shopping protocols | VailDaily.com
YOUR AD HERE »

Alpine Arts Center’s Holiday Market returns with safe shopping protocols

Each year, Alpine Arts Center brings in dozens of artists to sell fine arts and handmade crafts at the Holiday Market.

For its 11th year, 35 artists will display and sell work at the market, hosted from Friday, Dec. 4 to Tuesday, Dec. 8, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Guests will be expected to maintain social distancing and wear masks while shopping, and hot cider and cookies will be available to enjoy.

Alpine Arts Center owner Lauren Merrill makes aspen vases each year for the Holiday Market.
Special to the Daily

Every item on sale is made by a Colorado artist, and some of the work on display will include handmade pottery, paintings, jewelry, knit and trucker hats, home accessories, greeting cards, soaps, journals, wallets, photography, ornaments, screen printed items and more. There will also be an under $10 section, and select items from the market will remain on sale throughout December for last-minute holiday shopping.



““With many larger holiday markets canceled due to Covid-19, our market is one of the only opportunities for artists to show their handmade items this year,” said Alpine Arts Center owner Lauren Merrill. “We are unique in that artists don’t need to be present to participate so it allows us to keep numbers down to just a few shoppers at a time. We are also extending the market over a five-day period for social distancing to give everyone a chance to shop safely.”

Here’s a look at some of the artists whose work will be on display at the 11th annual Holiday Market.



Kathy Cummings

Kathy Cummings has always loved stones and rocks, so she enjoys incorporating them into her craft.
Special to the Daily

What kind of art/craft do you make?

My main product is to wire wrap silverware. I wire wrap a variety of spoons, knives, forks, cheese spreaders, salad servers and serving pieces with a non-tarnish wire and glass beads, sea glass or rocks. The silverware is user friendly. I also make jewelry, bracelets, necklaces and earrings. Additionally, I enjoy photography and make photo cards from photos from my travels and from being outdoors in our Vail Valley which somehow find their way cards.

How long have you been an artist/crafter?

Growing up, my mother would encourage me to think creatively and to make a handmade gift each year for others. My father and uncle were rock hounds so our family would stop at a rock shops or my father would be cutting, polishing make some jewelry item with gemstones. A part of my father’s hobby eventually became the inspiration for the beaded jewelry and items I have created for the past eight years.

What’s your process? How do you make the pieces you make?

My process for making any of the array of jewelry or to transform silverware into a usable conversation piece is to first get out the materials and make a nest spot where I’m surrounded with the materials. Once all the gemstones are out, I then envision the item’s appearance or how the item will be worn or used, whether it be casual, whimsical, a conversation piece or an everyday piece which says, “This makes me happy or brings a smile.” So trial and error and design and re-design is a lot of the process to come up with a product which is eye catching, useful and appealing to customers.

Not just any “rock” will do when it comes to being wire-wrapped on silverware. I hand-pick each rock from river banks in Colorado or from the beaches from my travels. Also I search for beads from various countries and will look to purchase semi-precious gemstones which are found in the very country I am traveling in.

What is your favorite piece that you’ve worked on? Tell us about it.

I do not have any one favorite piece of jewelry or silverware. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, as they say. Once, I worked in a shop and was making a necklace and didn’t feel confident it would sell. I even said out loud to a colleague that I didn’t think a particular element of the necklace would be appealing to customers. Not ten minutes later, a customer walked into the shop looked at the unfinished necklace I was making and within a moment of seeing the unfinished necklace the customer said she would like to buy it and could it be ready the next day. The customer said the necklace spoke to her and that was my favorite piece that very day. This encounter was a favorite moment.

What do you hope people will enjoy most about your work?

Hopefully people will enjoy using or wearing the item they choose or receive as a gift. The semi-precious gemstones in a piece of jewelry bring different energy to the person wearing it. It is most enjoyable to see people make a connection and be excited about their purchase choice, whether the purchase is a to-me-love-me gift to themselves or picking a surprise item for someone else. I most enjoy my work when someone else makes their own connection to and is excited and happy to have and use something I’ve created.

Henrietta Jones

What kind of craft do you make?

I design and make women’s accessories: glasses cases, ID cases, makeup bags, wristlets, crossbodies. I also design and make knitting needle cases and project bags.

How long have you been a crafter?

I have been sewing since childhood. I have a business making custom clothes for a client in Maryland, which I have been doing for 15 years, but I have been making women’s accessories and knitting needle cases for 7 years.

What’s your process? How do you make the pieces you make?

There are a lot of different steps, depending on what I am making.

What is your favorite piece that you’ve worked on? Tell us about it.

I love each and every piece I make.

What do you hope people will enjoy most about your work?

Good question. I hope they realize how much work has gone into each and every piece I create.

Emily Kent

"Aspen Blues" was taken in Aspen in 2019. Emily Kent
Special to the Daily

What kind of art do you make?

I am a fine art photographer. I’ve been a photographer for about 8 years.

What’s your process? How do you make the work you make?

I use a Nikon 750 DSLR and alternate between (sometimes many) different lenses to capture primarily nature scenes and landscapes. I process images using Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop software.

What is your favorite piece that you’ve worked on? Tell us about it.

My favorite photograph that I’ve captured in Colorado is probably this image taken in Aspen, Colorado in winter of 2019. It’s entitled “Aspen Blues.” My post-processing edits were intended to dramatize the white hue of the trees against the shadows of the collective grove. My intent was for the image to have a painterly quality to its finished state.

What do you hope people will enjoy most about your work?

I love to be able to share the artistry that I see in nature, and am passionate about the care and preservation of our natural lands and wild places. I hope that if nothing else, some of what I see might conjure up emotion for the viewer as well.

Sam Mizwicki

Sam Mizwicki makes cute household items, kids' clothes and more.
Special to the Daily

What kind of art/craft do you make?

I make block printed items including housewares, stationery, and clothes for kiddos.

How long have you been an artist/crafter?

I have been an art teacher for about 12 years and my business, Small+Mighty Handmade, was officially born in December of 2018.

What’s your process? How do you make the pieces you make?

I carve all blocks by hand to create a stamp of the image. Each item is then hand stamped with the carved block.

What is your favorite piece that you’ve worked on? Tell us about it.

My favorite items I have created for the winter season are the mini stockings and reusable wine gift bags. The mini stockings are hand printed with fun designs and sewn together with a cozy flannel lining. They can be used as an ornament, or a gift card holder with some candy: lots of possibilities. The reusable wine bags are perfect for jazzing up a bottle of wine while also being kind to the environment.

What do you hope people will enjoy most about your work?

I hope people will enjoy that my items are handmade with lots of love.

TJ Designs

TJ Designs does all their work by hand, so each piece is unique.
Special to the Daily

What kind of art/craft do you make?

We are both painters, ceramicists and wood workers. We will have wood burned plaques, mini landscape paintings, and plenty of pottery sets and individual pieces for sale at the market.

How long have you been artists?

We have both been artists since we were little. We met about seven years ago at Iowa State University, and have been creating art together ever since.

What’s your process? How do you make the pieces you make?

We spend quite a long time on all of our pieces. The process varies depending on personal work and commissioned work from customers. but everything we make, we make with love.

What is your favorite piece that you’ve worked on? Tell us about it.

We are most excited to sell our wood burned plaques this year. They are all one-of-a-kind animal themed plaques. We draw each animal, wood burn them, and then do a two-toned stain over top. We make custom wood burnings for people all the time, if anyone is looking for something specific.

What do you hope people will enjoy most about your work?

We don’t mass produce anything, so every piece we have is 100% original. People will enjoy our work simply because you can tell how much thought & care we put into each piece.

Katy VanNostrand

Katy VanNostrand uses her watercolor practice to relax and unwind from her job as a nurse.
Special to the Daily

What kind of art do you make?

I am a nurse full time, and make watercolor cards and prints on the side. It’s a great way to relieve work stress, and I love it to boot.

How long have you been an artist?

I started painting in 2017 when my husband left to guide in Argentina for a few months. I was working the night shift at the time, and needed something to keep my mind occupied.

What’s your process? How do you make the pieces you make?

Typically I look for beautiful picture on social media and the internet, and then do my best to paint them. Once I make a painting that I like, I scan it and the printer prints the cards on a watercolor paper, so you don’t lose that watercolor effect.

What is your favorite piece that you’ve worked on?

Tell us about it. I actually love my first big painting “Mt. Sopris and the Galaxy”. I love that it’s an interpretation of such a beloved mountain, and I love that’s my first painting, and my most popular!

What do you hope people will enjoy most about your work?

I think that i interpret famous Colorado scenes in a whimsical and colorful way. I don’t take my painting too seriously, and try to keep it as a very happy passion, rather than a job.

Jennie Windscheffel

Jennie Windscheffel has been making jewelry since she was a little girl, but found her niche with feathers.
Special to the Daily

What kind of art/craft do you make?

My name is Jennie Windscheffel and I live in Fruita, CO. I have a small hobby farm on 10 acres. I raise Nigerian dwarf goats and use their milk for soaps and lotion. I also make feather jewelry and grow lots of lavender. I currently have goats milk soap and lavender sachets for sale at Alpine Arts.

How long have you been an artist/crafter?

My business name is MadEllieFeathers, after my daughters Maddie and Ellie. I have been crafting for about 4 years now. I have made jewelry all my life, but found a niche with the feathers.

What’s your process? How do you make the pieces you make?

The process of making soap took me a little while to feel comfortable with, and I still have batches that don’t leave my house. My family gets all the “seconds.” But it’s really the goats that are the fun part of that whole process. Having baby goats and milking mamas is so special!.

What is your favorite piece that you’ve worked on? Tell us about it.

I have some earrings that I have made that are beaded and then feathers are added. They take a lot of time, and it was a special friend that taught me the process. Those are my favorites.

What do you hope people will enjoy most about your work?

I hope people will enjoy products that are as natural as they can be and locally made with love and hard work.

For more information, visit alpineartscenter.org.


Support Local Journalism