COLUMBIA — An influx of artists, families and members of the community who have a passion for both art and giving back will take over Parkade Center this weekend.
Friday marks the beginning of the fifth annual Fall Into Art showcase. Attendees can hear live music, support local artists and participate in multiple family activities, but event organizer Farah Nieuwenhuizen said she most looks forward to the show’s new philanthropic aspect.
"We are hoping to raise quite a bit of money for the food bank because they do a fantastic job helping people," Nieuwenhuizen said.
Each artist can donate one piece of artwork to a silent auction. At 2 p.m. Sunday, each artist will call the highest bidder to pick up the item and write a check to the Food Bank for Central and Northeast Missouri.
Melynda Lotven is a gourd artist who also helped organize the event. She said last year’s partnership with the Columbia Farmers Market helped boost sales. Fall Into Art will host the weekly market again this year alongside the art show Saturday.
Lotven said that she’s been involved with the show since the beginning, when the idea came up after Columbia’s two previous art shows ceased to exist.
"There was a vacuum there for a good fall/Christmas art show," Lotven said. "So, we’ve been doing our best to fill it."
Every year, the showcase features dozens of local artists, and the number keeps rising. According to Nieuwenhuizen, this year's event will have 50 artists, 10 more than last year.
"At the beginning, we were just working to fill the booth spaces," Lotven said. "This year, we actually have people on a waiting list."
Nieuwenhuizen said she thinks that the main benefits for the artists are exposure and sales.
"They make a lot of art that’s just sitting in their closets," Nieuwenhuizen said. "There aren’t many art shows in Columbia, so this is an opportunity for them to participate in one."
This year is Kay Foley’s third as a featured mixed-media artist at the event, as well as her second on the Fall Into Art committee. She was first drawn to the show because of the opportunity to sell her work.
"Art is my whole income, and this is right here in town, so it’s easy to do," Foley said.
Artists must submit an application to be considered for the show, and committee members go through all of the pictures and try to pick the most diverse array possible.
The show attracts artists of all ages who produce a wide variety of work. The committee doesn’t want to have too many artists of the same style, Nieuwenhuizen said, so they try not to accept more painters than sculptors or jewelry artists over mixed-media artists.
The "emerging artists" of the show will be composed of students from Lee Elementary School, City Garden School and Moberly Area Community College.
"Most people don’t see what they do at school, so it’s good for people to see that," Nieuwenhuizen said.
People can join in pumpkin painting, face painting and crafting. Two vendors, Kui Korean B-B-Q and Sub Shop, will offer lunch.
Nieuwenhuizen said she thinks the event is unique because it isn’t just a show for craft artists.
"This is completely art and fine craft — the quality of their work and their perseverance and their talent," Nieuwenhuizen said. "This is what makes this a very unique occasion for the Columbia area."
Supervising editor is Bailey Otto.