Gift Gallery Showcases Community Work

Grace Ebert

Last Friday night, the Riverfront Arts Center held an opening reception for its annual Gift Gallery.

The Riverfront Arts Center has been hosting this event for the last 15 years to give community members the opportunity to feature and sell their original works during the holiday season.

This year, close to 85 local artists, including University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point students, are showcasing their work, ranging from dramatic watercolors, to beautifully crafted pottery, to local fiber works, such as knitted scarves and fleece- lined baby booties.

Nancy Thorson, director of the Riverfront Arts Center, says this is the center’s biggest fundraiser of the year.

“It supports the ongoing efforts of the Riverfront Arts Center for exhibits, classes and educational programs, and the general operations of the gallery,” Thorson said.

According to Thorson, the center accepts two or three UWSP student interns, usually arts management or graphic design majors, each semester. This experience gives students an opportunity to gain experience in the business while receiving credit towards their major area of study.

UWSP junior Emily Hoffman is an intern at the center this year.

“It’s definitely something I’d recommend to other students. You get a taste for what it’s like to work in a local gallery setting,” Hoffman said.

Hoffman has been given a variety of duties at the center including basic bookkeeping and correspondence, making sales, setting up the current exhibits, and greeting visitors and answering any questions they may have.

In addition to interning, a few UWSP students are displaying theiroriginal works.

UWSP junior Justin Behm is exhibiting a life-size ceramic piece at the gallery this year. The piece depicts his interpretation of a classic bust.

“I am very happy that they took an interest in my work,” Behm said. It is his first year participating and also his first time collaborating with the center.

There are a variety of ways, such as interning and volunteering, for UWSP students to become involved with the center’s work.

“I am the only employee. We are able to keep the doors open six days per week with the help of wonderfuldedicated volunteers. They are the lifeblood of our operation and we always appreciate more help,” Thorson said.

Thorson also encourages all students interested in the arts to become familiar with the work done at the Center, as there are many opportunities available to showcase their own work and view the work of others.

Riverfront Arts Center’s Gift Gallery is now open for public viewing Tuesday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., through Dec. 22.


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