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The City of Bloomington Parks and Recreation Department, like dozens of other art fair event planners, opted not to hold the monthly A Fair of the Arts art and fine craft fair last summer due to concerns and restrictions surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic. 


To give customers opportunities to support local small businesses and the arts, the Department created a website that features links to the websites of more than 50 area artisans and studios. Shoppers who would ordinarily visit the in-person A Fair of the Arts can shop and buy directly from their favorite artist or fine craftsperson safely from a physically distanced, internet-enabled device like a smartphone or tablet.


The website, afairoftheartsbtown.weebly.com, is a stunning collection of gallery images and lists of artists and studios divided by their type of work. Shoppers may browse through categories including clay, glass, jewelry, woodwork and metalwork, personal care, fiber arts, drawing/painting/photography, natural materials, and recycled arts.


"Artists have had few opportunities to sell their work over the past six months, and patrons of local artists and the arts have had few opportunities to see what artists have created, and to buy locally made, unique items. As we move toward the holidays and gift-giving seasons, we hope this website will help connect shoppers to the local art community," said Crystal Ritter, program coordinator for the Parks and Recreation Department's A Fair of the Arts.


The website will remain live through Nov. 27.


Local artisans, as well as local farm vendors and food and beverage artisans, will have an in-person opportunity to demonstrate and sell their products at the annual Holiday Market, scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 28 from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. at Showers Common, 401 N. Morton St. The Holiday Market takes place entirely outside at Showers Common. For more information about the Holiday Market, visit bloomington.in.gov/holidaymarket.

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