CARBONDALE — A popular holiday tradition will still take place at Southern Illinois University Carbondale, albeit in a new and different way in 2020. The Student Center’s 42nd annual Holiday Craft Sale will be virtual and expanded to a three-week event.
For decades, people have flocked to the Student Center the first weekend of December each year to find the latest arts, crafts and more. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the sale is going online for 2020. Vendors can sign up until 5 p.m. Nov. 13.
The Student Center’s Craft Shop will host a virtual shopping database featuring an eclectic assortment of work by campus and regional artists and craftspeople. The sale will launch via a link on the Student Center’s homepage, studentcenter.siu.edu, at noon Dec. 1, and it will be in operation through noon Dec. 21.
Stephanie Dukat, Craft Shop coordinator, said the sale is one way SIU can assist small businesses in Southern Illinois.
“Small arts and crafts businesses have been hard hit this year as most arts festivals have been canceled and many galleries that sell their work on a wholesale or consignment basis have been closed or had decreased foot traffic,” she said. “We hope this event helps show off their work.
“While a virtual event can’t replace the ability to see items in person, I hope this event will help bring the small arts and crafts businesses in our area some well-deserved sales and attention. This is a wonderful opportunity for people to buy unique holiday gifts for those on their shopping lists or for themselves.”
Already, about 30 artists and craftspeople with a wide variety of talents and products have signed up to participate, and organizers anticipate the list will grow. They offer a diverse assortment of products including ceramics, fibers, jewelry, holiday items, drawing, painting, photography, printmaking, wood and more.
Through the website, viewers can explore the work of talented artists and craftspeople. Customers can find portraits and short biographies of each artist along with photos of their creations a link to their websites, Etsy pages and/or Facebook artist pages. Artists also provide general contact information and preferred method of payment. Sales transactions, shipping arrangements and specific details are handled between the artist and the customer.
Vendors can sign up online and pay the $25 registration fee. All of their information will be hosted on the event webpage.