Art gleams anew at Holiday Jumble
- Published: December 1, 2016
“I call it ‘the grand reshuffling of Yellow Springs art,’” said Nancy Mellon.
As the gallery coordinator for the Yellow Springs Arts Council, Mellon was speaking of the council’s annual end-of-year show, which is also its biggest fundraiser — the Holiday Art Jumble.
The 2016 Jumble opened to the public on Saturday, Nov. 19, and will run through Dec. 31. On display are donated items for sale at prices meant to meet any budget.
According to Mellon, the word “jumble” comes from Britain, where it’s used to describe such events as a church bazaar. Mellon said she thinks the word is apt. In its fifth year, the local Jumble has two facets: the donation side and the sales side.
As for donations: The kinds of things the council looks for are items that have been saved because they’re special to the owner, but they’ve been stuffed under the bed or in boxes. “Now you’re ready to let them go,” Mellon said. “It is an opportunity to donate things that are art, or related to art, or are crafty or cherished in some way,” Mellon said. “It doesn’t have to be handmade.”
The gallery put out a call for donations last month and will continue to accept items to help restock the show until Dec. 20. “It’s an awful lot of fun opening the boxes. It’s like getting all these surprise gifts from the donors,” she said.
Then, on the display and sales side: “It’s an opportunity for people to come to the gallery and see a gallery show,” Mellon said, adding that a lot of work goes into arranging the collection so that it works as an art show as well as a sales event. After everything is arranged, Mellon said she sprinkles each table with glitter, “so they have a gleam and a blessing.” Drapings of lace and arrangements of fresh-cut greens add to the festive air. “We just try to make it look pretty and to be a lovely experience for people,” Mellon said.
“One of the most important parts is we price things really, really low … four steps above a garage-sale price,” she said. Many objects are less than $10, and the most expensive rarely top $50. The low pricing also makes the show “a perfect place for kids to come and get something for their parents,” she added.
Items include drawings, paintings, prints, ceramics, woodworking, glasswork and jewelry. Every year brings something especially unexpected, Mellon said. Last year, a donor gave a collection of “amazing Victorian gold jewelry.” This year, someone donated a collection of artistically illustrated posters that Mellon described as “erotica.” The question of how to put posters in the G-rated show was answered by the gift of an artist’s zippered, leather portfolio case that was perfectly sized to hold the posters.
In addition to the gallery show, the gallery’s back room has a table of donated art supplies that are free for anyone who can use them. The Arts Council is also hosting a silent auction for two framed pastels by locally based artist Julie Carlson. The winning bidders will be announced Dec. 10 at the Arts Council’s Holiday Dessert Bake-off and Concert.
While the Holiday Jumble is a fundraiser for the Arts Council, the council doesn’t set a financial goal for the event, Mellon said. “Because we take whatever comes to us, and it’s so different each time,” she explained. Past years have raised “a couple thousand dollars” from the six-week-long sale. The funds help the council continue to do its work.
“We’re so grateful for everything that comes in.”
The YS Arts Council Gallery is open 1-4 p.m. Wednesdays-Sundays; the 2016 Holiday Art Jumble will be open during regular gallery hours, but closed Nov. 24 and Dec. 25.