Marketplace presents regional artists

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Those in search of one-of-a-kind holiday gifts should start their shopping at An American Marketplace The Shop at The Westmoreland.

Temporarily housed at The Westmoreland's Westmoreland @rt30 facility on Route 30 in Unity, the shop opened earlier this month and is filled with artistic holiday treasures that support a growing made-in-America movement.

Everything for sale is American made, said museum director Judith O'Toole.

The artists she speaks of are a mix of local and national craftsmen who specialize in a variety of media, including jewelry, woodworking and glass.

"The shop brings to the museum clear about $60,000 a year, so that's [money] we don't have to ask the public for or write a grant for. Plus it's a beautiful visitor amenity," Ms. O'Toole said.

The @rt30 facility also houses the museum's "pop up" exhibition and temporary exhibits from the museum's permanent collection. The museum building, located at North Main Street in Greensburg, is undergoing a $20 million renovation, due to be completed in the spring 2015. It is part of a $38 million campaign that also includes $14 million in endowments for future projects and $4 million to support operating costs, Ms. O'Toole said.

Hanging along one wall of the shop are whimsical animal-shaped clocks created by Martha Murphy of Waking Bear Studios in Somerset. Next to them are butterfly and bird plaques, "upcycled" from soda cans by artist Beth Anderson of Ohiopyle. In another corner are fleece scarves in vivid colors by Liza Jane Norman of High Falls, N.Y., and felted and dyed fancy wool flowers by designer Nan Loncharich of Greensburg.

There are also hand-blown glass ornaments and other decorative pieces by various artists from the Pittsburgh Glass Center.

Pewter leaf ornaments by Vilmain Inc. of Providence, R.I., hang from an abstract table tree. Pat Childs of G Squared Gallery in Ligonier wore one as a pendant.

"When there is a museum presence for an artist, it adds a certain cachet to their resume," she said.

Mrs. Childs and her husband, Harvey, serve as consultant buyers and merchandisers for the marketplace.

An American Marketplace is open to the public from noon to 7 p.m. Wednesdays through Fridays and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays.

Details: museumshop@wmuseumaa.org or 724-837-1500.

Laurie Bailey, freelance writer: suburbanliving@post-gazette.com.


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