Clark County Arts Commission joining Artists Sunday Alliance

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On Sunday, Nov. 29, local shoppers and art lovers can support local and nationwide artists during Artists Sunday, a first-ever shopping event to support the arts during the holiday season. For the event, artists from across the country and in the Clark County area teamed up to allow patrons to shop art for the holidays this year. 

Chair of the Clark County Arts Commission LaRae Zawodny said the event is entirely virtual, and patrons shop art online through the artists themselves. According to Zawodny, there are about eight artists signed up from Vancouver with a possibility of more in the future. 

“I think the event will go on to become an annual event,” Zawodny said. “It’s very well organized … has no cost to the artists and I think it’s a phenomenal opportunity (for artists).” 

Zawodny said the Arts Commission decided to join the nationwide project as a way to support local artists in a time of economic downturn and showcase local talent for the holidays. While it’s the first event, Zawodny hopes it will help artists in their time of need. Because each artist sets up their own studio on the Artist Sunday website, each artist will set their own prices and shipping fees, so patrons can expect different prices for each artist. 

“This is a day dedicated to encouraging shoppers to give something special, unique and hand-crafted this holiday season,” Zawodny said. 

According to the website, Artists Sunday has over 3,000 artists with sales, specials and events throughout the day. The movement was founded by Christopher Sherman earlier this year. Sherman, an entrepreneur and photographer, has experience in multiple industries and has worked to integrate them in ways such as the online-to-local Artists Sunday. 

As for why people should support local artists, Zawodny explained that art and artists are the “lifeblood of culture and community.” Zawodny said that no community is complete without art and artists to decorate and entertain. 

“Just imagine living in a place that is an art desert. Just imagine, no songs, no music, no theater, no dance, literature or paintings. No artistic expression, what would life be like?” Zawodny said. “Art frames our experiences in a very significant way.” 

While some people may see purchasing art as a luxury, Zawodny explained that buying art is an expression of culture and a way to honor and recognize creativity in the community and there are ways to express this without spending a ton of money. Zawodny said focusing on small gifts such as sculptures and jewelry are great ways to honor local art and your wallet. 

Zawodny’s feelings of the importance of artistic expression is why she joined the Clark County Arts Commission four years ago. The commission is a governmental organization through the Clark County Council with representatives from cities in the community, businesses and more. Zawodny herself represents Battle Ground on the commission. 

“I feel very strongly about the arts. I am a visual artist myself but I’ve dropped my production to be an advocate and it’s been extremely rewarding,” she said. 

Other community members interested in joining the commission or learning more about it’s presence in Clark County can visit cityofvancouver.us/ccac.

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