Holiday Marketplace fills Hannibal Arts Council with holiday cheer | Local News

HANNIBAL — The Hannibal Arts Council is brimming with holiday spirit during the annual Holiday Marketplace, featuring a wide variety of gifts created by 18 area artists.

Michael Gaines, HAC executive director, said HAC members purchased several items as gifts during a preview event Nov. 12, and regular visitors return each year to purchase their favorite gifts. A majority of the Holiday Marketplace items are $99 or less, with several very affordable items. Gaines enjoys moments like when a guest asks what their spouse enjoyed the most during a previous visit, so they can purchase the item as a surprise gift.

Black Friday and Small Business Saturday were successful, and Gaines noted there are gift ideas for people of all ages. He cherishes memories like when a person comes in to purchase a grandchild’s first piece of artwork.

“To instill that love for having original art in your home really sets a tone,” he said.

As he walked through the gallery, Gaines pointed out how each item is special and unique. On each wall and around every corner, traditional and non-traditional paintings and mixed media artwork intermingle with handcrafted pottery, glass ornaments, wooden Santa Claus figures, handmade shirts, handcrafted pens and wine stoppers, cards, watercolor paintings, jewelry, goat’s milk soaps and other unique gifts. Several artists return during the sale to replenish items which have sold.

“I pretty much do 100{5b4d37f3b561c14bd186647c61229400cd4722d6fb37730c64ddff077a6b66c6} of my Christmas shopping in our building,” Gaines said, pointing out how he can support local artists while purchasing high-quality gifts not available in big box stores.

Each year, eight artists are invited to return to the Holiday Marketplace. Ten artist’s names are drawn from a hat in July, due to limited space and numerous people wishing to participate. The Holiday Marketplace is a unique opportunity each year for visitors to bring home artwork and handcrafted gifts while supporting local artists and the Hannibal Arts Council. Commissions from the sale and attendance fees from other exhibits support HAC’s efforts to present free events for the community and pursue grant opportunities.

This year’s artists are Martha Adrian, Steve Ayers, Cara Bowman, Kim Caisse, Greg Celenze, Todd Damotte, Brenda Beck Fisher, Jamie Green, Matthew Hemminghaus, Andrew Hogge, Steve and Vilma Holt, Mary Joe Kattleman, Elizabeth Mannhardt, Roger McGregor, Amanda Pendergrass and Mary Turner. The event is sponsored by F&M Bank and Trust, Hannibal Machine Inc., LaBinnah Bistro and the Missouri Arts Council.

Gaines expressed his joy for the sense of community present during the Victorian Festival of Christmas and in concerts including local church groups and the Hannibal Area String Orchestra. He said nonprofit groups, widespread support for the Hannibal Pirates leading up to their championship game and coming out to support local artists at the Holiday Marketplace are all examples of Hannibal’s close-knit connections.

“That’s just part of being a community,” he said.

Gaines looks forward to seeing more visitors as the final push for the Holiday Marketplace approaches. He encouraged anyone who has been thinking about the event to “come on in.” In addition to HAC’s regular hours from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday and Wednesday through Friday, the Holiday Marketplace will be open from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. The event will also be open from 4-7 p.m. during Downtown Living Windows on Saturday, Dec. 11. The Holiday Marketplace will be open from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. for its final day of the year on Saturday, Dec. 18.

More information about the Holiday Marketplace and other HAC programs is available by visiting their website,, their Facebook page or calling 573-221-6545.

Kenneth Proto

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