Artists display work during holiday sale

MARIETTA – Although the event has been going on for more than three decades, Friday was the first time Williamstown resident Nancy Murphy attended the Local Artists Show and Holiday Sale.

She was glad she came.

“It’s beautiful things. It’s really pretty,” said Murphy, 59, as she looked around at displays of jewelry, paintings, fabric arts and more. “Nancy Gribble and her hand-painted little boxes, it’s just unique.”

Gribble of Cutler was one of about two dozen artists set up in the Lafayette Hotel ballroom Friday for the opening of the show, which continues today from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. She’s been making porcelain items that she paints with flowers, holiday designs and more for over 40 years and attending the show for the last six.

“It’s nice to see the people of Marietta,” she said.

Over the years, the show has been held at Marietta College and Washington State Community College before settling at the Lafayette in recent years.

Some participants were making their first appearance at the show, while others had been there for 20 or 30 years. Lower Salem resident Mike Trembly was there at the beginning, when there were only a few artists. Back then, he did jewelry, but on Friday he and his wife Ann were there with a new venture – Earth Star Greenhouse and Gardens.

“It was a hobby that got out of control basically,” he said, referring to the couple’s decision to build a greenhouse a few years ago.

They’ve already expanded it once and plan to build a bigger structure next year. For Earth Star, the couple combine the plants they grow in their greenhouse with artistic items to create “air plants” hanging in glass bulbs and other decorative accents for gardens.

“It’s something that we can both do together,” Trembly said. “I always did art. She’s a massage therapist. And plants were our common passion.”

Rita Schultheis has combined her artistic talent and love of animals to create animal portraits in a variety of media for more than three decades.

“I started in high school art classes … and did my own horses,” she said. “Then people saw it and wanted their own dogs and cats done, and it’s just grown from there.”

Schultheis, who has a shop on Putnam Street and has been recognized with multiple awards, said she’s been exhibiting at the show for three years and it always has good traffic.

“It’s right before the holidays, so hopefully they’re thinking about Christmas presents, unique gifts,” she said.

Most of the artists come from Washington County, but some hail from Parkersburg, Barnesville and Athens. A few came from even farther, including Carrie Turner of New Concord.

Turner had paintings, jewelry and more on display, most of it “upcycled,” like rings made with vintage buttons and earrings with pieces that came from pots and pans.

“I hate to see things thrown away,” she said. “People give me things, and I turn it into something else.”