SYCAMORE – Sycamore artist Alec Rossiter will feature a different type of medium during this year’s holiday arts and crafts market hosted by the Kishwaukee Valley Art League: hard-shell gourd art.
Rossiter said he has been selling the gourd art for about 12 years. He said he first came across the art form when he saw a gourd mask while out with his wife when they lived in Arizona. Rather than spending the money to buy the mask, he said, he decided to try to make one of his own.
Though this is a hobby for Rossiter, he sells his work at about a dozen shows a year.
“It’s our fun money,” Rossiter said.
Locally made decor and gifts will be available for sale from 26 area artists during this year’s KVAL Holiday Arts and Crafts Market, scheduled from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at the at the old train depot, 475 DeKalb Ave. Patrons will have the opportunity to meet the artists who are selling the works at the event, as well.
Shoppers also can buy items made with oil, watercolor or acrylic paints, colored pencils, pen and ink, pottery, fabric, photography and scanography, paper or wood sculptures, jewelry and leather.
Admission to the event is free and refreshments provided by KVAL will be available.
Rossiter, who also is the public relations representative for KVAL, said the holiday market has been going on since 2014, when the old train depot first opened for nonprofits to use.
“It’s a nice day to get out and see what’s going on around town,” Rossiter said.
KVAL President Larry Bond said the event gives local artists a chance to display their art and make some sales before the holiday season. He said it’s also important for the community to see that there are a lot of talented people in the Sycamore and DeKalb area and support them in any way they can.
“Art is important to society, I think,” Bond said. “It gives people an outlet and a chance to express themselves.”
The nonprofit organization hosts two shows a year, with one during the holiday season and one in the spring, Rossiter said.
With the exception of those two shows, Rossiter said, it’s up to artists in the area to find their own outlets to sell their works. He said hosting these types of fairs or markets is important to artists in this area because there are not a lot of galleries around where local artists can display their pieces.
Rossiter said the reason the public should come to these types of shows can be summarized with the organization’s motto: Art feeds the soul.
“I think for the community, almost everyone sees artwork that touches them in some way,” Rossiter said. “So to have the opportunity to see artwork and even buy artwork is important for our community.”