Christmas market showcases local artists in Berkeley County

West Virginia

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. (WDVM) — With Christmas in just a few days, there may still be things on your gift list that Santa’s elves can’t make, but local artists in Berkeley County can.

Tucked away in the heart of downtown Martinsburg is Saint Nick’s Market which is home to artists from all across the Eastern Panhandle. The show features creations ranging from paintings to ornaments to handmade mugs. Paula Frank used to sit on the Board of Directors for the Berkeley Arts Council and despite stepping down from her role, she still frequents the Christmas market but also the gallery as a whole.

“You can’t find things like these at other stores, I mean yes you can some… But the art of the people is so different,” Frank said. “It comes from their souls and they do such great jobs.”

The Berkeley Arts Council featured 30 to 35 new artists this year on top of their 15 year-round artists providing a permanent space for the community to view and appreciate their works. The Arts Council strives to feature new artists each year to expand and diversify the art in the gallery.

“One of our main missions is to support local artists, to help them to practice their art, to carry it on, to succeed in their businesses, and to expose the community to the riches in our local art,” Malinda Shaver, Treasurer of the Berkeley Arts Council, explained.

Artists featured at Saint Nick’s Market don’t have to worry about the business aspects of the show and are only required to bring their creations in to be displayed. Anna Howard, an artist in the Arts Council co-op and the President of the Arts Council, says that some artists were unable to participate in the show as their creations had already sold out for the season at other holiday markets.

“There aren’t a lot of places to display work on a short time basis and not everybody is an artist full time, most people aren’t,” Howard explained. “We, as the Arts Council, take care of the display work, the bookkeeping, and everything for the show so artists can just come in and bring their things.”

Saint Nick’s Market will be finishing up tomorrow on Christmas Eve but the Berkeley Arts Council hosts art exhibits and classes throughout the year at Berkeley Art Works on North Queen Street in downtown Martinsburg. For more information about the Berkeley Arts Council, please visit their website.

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