Artists living and working in Clarkdale celebrate once a year at a festive weeklong event in December—the Made In Clarkdale Art Show and Sale.More than 50 visual and performing artists showcase their work in the historic Clark Memorial Clubhouse, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.The beautiful old building, with its wooden floors and high ceilings, is located at 19 N. 9th Street in Clarkdale, adjacent to the library.
You don’t have to live in Clarkdale to view the astonishing variety of visual art created in the small, friendly community—from large acrylic paintings to jewelry and small ceramics—or to enjoy the dance, music and poetry performances and workshops.
At 6 p.m. on opening night (the first Friday in December) the doors to the show open with a flourish. As musicians play, visitors get their first look at the exhibit and can meet most of the artists over refreshments. Show participants provide the food. “We’re a very hands-on group,” laughs mixed media artist Emily Miller. “We enjoy spending time with each other.”Ellie Bauer, one of the event’s founding members, couldn’t agree more. “It’s a wonderful lot of fun,” she says. “It’s one of the few times when people in our community celebrate where they live, who they are and what they do.”
During the week, the public is likely to rub elbows with school groups who also stop by.Some of the participating artists engage the students in hands-on projects. “Kids don’t have this opportunity very often,” notes Bauer. “And they really look forward to it.”
On the last Saturday of the event everyone can get an education. In small mini-workshops, artists demonstrate different techniques--from glass making to creating metal sculptures.
The Made InClarkdale Art Show and Sale began in 1987. It is not juried, but it is reviewed.“You have to be serious about your art to participate,” says Robyn Bauer, treasurer of the Clarkdale Chamber of Commerce. “No kits. No crafts, just original work.”As an added bonus, the Clarkdale Memorial Library conducts a book sale at the same time.