The tradition goes on

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By Special to the Monitor

1967 was a great year for the arts. The Beatles released “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” and “Magical Mystery Tour.” Jimi Hendrix released “Are You Experienced?” and the Los Alamos Arts Council held its first-ever Holiday Arts and Crafts Fair.


The former are legendary albums, and the latter has become a 42-year tradition, drawing top-notch artists and craftsmen to the Hill just in time for local shoppers to find something original, one-of-a-kind and absolutely memorable for their loved ones for the holidays.  

The LAAC’s 42nd Annual Holiday Arts and Crafts Fair will be held from 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Saturday at Los Alamos Middle School, 1 Hawk Drive. Admission is free.

“We hope that everyone will come out and support the artists who have traveled from all over New Mexico to this fair,” said Executive Director Marlane Hamilton.

This year, the LAAC has lined up more than 100 artists from across New Mexico. As in past years, the fair will highlight a wide range of fine art and holiday-oriented crafts.

Looking for striking decorative items for the home? Photographers and painters such as David Tubbs and Marjorie Madsen will be on hand and Norman Aufrichtig from El Prado will display his hand-thrown pottery.

Fair first-timer Roger Felthauser will offer fine etchings of pictures on leather, metal and wood, as well as holiday ornaments. Newcomers Jim and Charm Shiver will bring with them a selection of their antique barb wire crosses.

New Mexico artisans Cande and Russ Toner of Dancing Turtle Studios will showcase their enamel pieces.

Looking for edible gifts? Marianne and George Schweers will be at the fair with their Heart of the Desert farm fresh pistachio nuts, cookies and candies. Their family farm contains New Mexico’s first and largest producing pistachio groves.

Fair-goers looking for something especially sweet will also be pleased to find Elizabeth Glesne from Bee Chama Honey at this year’s fair.

Perhaps you prefer wearable art. Los Alamos artist Tatiana Klimov will be at the fair with her knitted scarves, shawls and sweaters in a rainbow of colors. Kathy Hjeresen, Teresa Starr, Martin Siebach and Margaret Adams will offer unique jewelry designs. Items of gold, silver and pearls will be shown in both traditional and contemporary art forms.

Inspired by the beauty of New Mexico’s mountains and the ancient Japanese art of Shibori, Anita Bauer paints on silk to make eye-catching scarves and other items of wearable art.

The LAAC also donates spaces at the middle school to nonprofit organizations. Among several groups taking part this year, the Los Alamos Animal Shelter will be on hand publicizing their popular calendars, Dance Arts Los Alamos will be there to sell tickets to the “Nutcracker” performance, and the Los Alamos High School Band will take orders for poinsettias. Other groups representing the Los Alamos County Libraries and the University of New Mexico – Los Alamos will also be present.

There will be food and beverages offered for exhibitors and shoppers alike. This year, fair-goers will find a variety of items from the Coffeehouse Café for lunch. Also, John Henry will be there with his Kettle Korn – always a favorite with shoppers.

The fair is a major fundraising event for the Los Alamos Arts Council. Proceeds from booth rental fees are used to present cultural programs throughout the county. In the past year, the nonprofit council has presented more than 50 arts-related programs, including an annual Art/Flight Kite Festival, Missoula Children’s Theater, noontime Brown Bag performances at Fuller Lodge, seasonal celebrations such as the Los Alamos Pumpkin Glow and Scarecrow Contest, senior recitals and the monthly Guitars and Gateaux series.

Anyone wishing to become a member of  the Los Alamos Arts Council (individual memberships are $15) is invited to drop by the registration table during the fair or call the office at 663-0477 or visit www.laartscouncil.org.