PHOTO: Challah Cover by Diane Fredgant. The silk artist made several challah covers for this show. Her 3D silk wall art will also be in the virtual marketplace. Diane normally makes custom tallit, but she made one to include in this show.
BY DEBORAH MOON
ORA: Northwest Jewish Artists has combined its annual Celebration of Art and Chanukah Fair into “Virtual Marketplace: Gifts for All Occasions” to provide a safe holiday shopping experience in the era of COVID.
Visitors to the virtual market can explore works by 20 artists. Support local artists and find a distinctive, affordable gift for everyone on your shopping list. Choose from photography, fabric art, fused glass, jewelry, paintings, pencil drawings, pottery, wood carving, sculpture and other creations.
“While we will miss the personal interactions with customers, we are so excited about the accessibility to shoppers across the country,” says silk artist Diane Fredgant, who is working with website developer Michelle Bombet Minch “to create this lovely functional virtual store.”
“Hopefully, ORA’s Virtual Marketplace will be successful,” says Sharon Segal, who, like Diane, is a founding member of the 15-year-old group for Jewish artists. Sharon has heard other virtual shows have been successful in these trying times for a variety of reasons. “Many of us are staying at home with time to browse the internet,” she says. “(When) viewing art online, we can really focus on one piece of art at a time.”
She adds that some potential customers who are not attending cultural events, entertaining or traveling have more disposable income available. And like all of us, those customers “want a ‘lift,’ as we’ve been home too long.”
Customers purchase the art using the shopping cart on the virtual marketplace. But ORA also wants to maintain the personal interactions of past shows. “We have all our contact information within the site,” says Diane.
Sharon adds, “When people purchase a piece of art from me, I’d love to share about the painting, technique, motivation or the story behind the piece.”
Arlene Hirsch, who joined ORA a year ago, will have eight watercolors with nature themes in the virtual show. “Finding beauty and peacefulness in the time of isolation is important, so walks and painting go hand-in-hand for me,” says Arlene.
“I am glad for this opportunity as a way of showing my art,” says Arlene, though she adds, “I much prefer the one-on-one, in-person interaction with customers, so that I can talk about my art and learn about their interests.”
But in a year when in-person is ill-advised, ORA will as in years past offer art lovers the chance to find creative gifts for everyone on their list. You can even buy your greeting cards from the marketplace, says Diane.
ORA’s Virtual Marketplace
Purchase gifts of local arts and crafts 9 am, Nov. 25, through 5 pm, Dec. 17.
Add item to shopping cart. Pay for item and shipping online Pay for item and shipping online with any major credit card (shipping cost listed in item description; If you arrange pickup with artist, receive coupon code to remove shipping fee from shopping cart).
For more information about ORA, go to northwestjewishartists.org