MICHIGAN, N.D. -- A holiday arts and crafts sale featuring local talent encourages people to come to the small town’s library and check out the books.
More than a dozen local artists who live in Nelson County or have ties to it are selling their work at the Holiday Extravaganza this month and next in the Bernice Ferguson Community Library in Michigan. Maria Vasichek, library board president, organized the event as a way to highlight the artists' work and draw people into the library, located in the Michigan Mall.
“Every small town needs a mover and a shaker, and Maria Vasichek is the mover and shaker in Michigan,” said David Paukert, a Michigan resident and artist.
The library, formerly called the Michigan Carnegie Mini Library, was renamed the Bernice Ferguson Community Library in 2013 after Ferguson. Ferguson, of Michigan, had been a librarian for 31 years before her retirement in 2013.
The library also remodeled after the name change, and the names of people who have donated to the project are written on its block walls. Since the remodeling, each month an artist’s work has been featured at the library. Artwork has included photographs, needlework and paintings.
“It’s a great way of drawing people to the library,” Paukert said.
The Holiday Extravaganza accomplishes the same goal and is a way for the artists to support the library, he said, noting that some of them give proceeds from their sales to the library.
“Some artists use it as a means of donating back to the library,” he said.
Meanwhile, the exhibits also benefit artists, he said.
“It’s a win-win situation,” Paukert said.
The Holiday Extravaganza also encouraged Michigan residents to shop in their hometown.
“I have a small business, doing graphics, signs and photos. People can see different things I can do and that others can do,” said Sheri Pedersen. Then, instead of going online to find an item, they come to her.
“A lot of people like to support their hometown,” she said.
Other artwork at the Holiday Extravaganza includes quilted table runners, painted glassware and North Dakota-themed coasters and magnets.
“I’m amazed at all of the talent we have in our neighborhood,” said Betty Kroke, Bernice Ferguson Community Library librarian. ”I think it’s very good for them to be able to show off their talents.”
Many of the artists at the Holiday Extravaganza don’t go on the show circuit, so the event gives them a unique opportunity to sell their products, Pedersen said.
The Holiday Extravaganza also is a way for artists who may easing out of marketing their work at big shows to be in a smaller venue, Paukert said, noting this is the first time in 25 years he has not been at Pride of Dakota’s annual November shows.
Because the Holiday Extravaganza in the library is a smaller, Paukert can showcase some of the new artwork he’s recently made.
“I’m trying to do new things,” Paukert said.“It’s a fun opportunity for me.”
The Holiday Extravaganza also benefits the library because it attracts first-time customers.
“I think it draws in many people who probably wouldn’t have come in,” said Sherrie Kjorsvik, a Holiday Extravaganza artist who is selling centerpieces, quilted table runners and needlework at the event.
Kroke is happy the Holiday Extravaganza encourages people to use the library, something she believes everyone should do
“I think everybody should read, so I think it's important," Kroke said.
The Holiday Extravaganza will be held through Dec. 24. Hours are: 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Mondays; 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Tuesdays; and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays.