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Old 02-16-2018, 08:20 PM
Newton Daily News Newton Daily News is offline
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Default Artists’ handiwork debuts at Geisler Gift Shop

Derived from a former lumberyard, the Geisler Gift Shop at the Centre for Arts and Artists has transformed into a unique shopping experience. After four and a half years of planning and construction, the gift shop will hold its ribbon cutting ceremony and grand openings this weekend.

Wooden beams and vibrant lighting sit above a wide range of art pieces for sale. Shoppers interested in pottery, paintings, jewelry or sculptures can find their niche and now take it home.

The ribbon cutting is set for noon Friday with grand openings at 1 to 7 p.m. Friday and 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday.

The Geisler Penquite*Gift Shop was named*to honor*Harold and Mavis Geisler and Loren and Cecil Penquite.*Their early and ongoing Foundation grants have*been very important in the creation the project.

Aside from grants and donations that made the gift shop possible, there were also three generations of volunteers who helped with construction, including students from local schools and organizations.

“This day of celebration is to share the joy of completion with so many*others also*who have contributed monetarily*or*through in-kind donations, plus unending volunteerism of labor and skills,” director Linda Klepinger said. “Kudos to the broader community for sharing this vision for 4.5 years to completion.”

Klepinger said the goal is for the gift shop to become a destination stop for people who live in and outside of Jasper County.

“They will most likely be coming to see what the place finally looks like particularly for the people who saw it when we first started,” she said.

For Klepinger, seeing the shop completed is a different experience as she reflects on all of the hard work.

“What I see when I go through the area is where somebody hung sheet rock, somebody was putting up track lights, somebody was grinding paint off the floor — those are things I see,” Klepinger said.

She said the project was a validation that people in the area are caring, giving and work well together when there is a common goal to be accomplished.

“If there were ever any doubts, it was always agreed upon that it’s obvious we needed this, our creative artists needed this and our consumer public needs this,” Klepinger said.

The Centre for Arts and Artists includes art displays, eight working artist studios, clay and kiln rooms, a classroom, home to four arts organizations civic groups and six rental businesses. Shoppers can count on seeing new handmade items in the store on a regular basis.

A large portion of the sale from an item goes to the artist through commission, and there is a portion that goes back into enhancing the Centre for Arts and Artists and the gift shop.

“There is a lot of local talent here and you can find anything from funky and fun to elegant,” Centre for Arts and Artists board member Margaret Caldwell said.

The Centre for Arts and Artists is located at 501 W. Third St. N.

Contact Kayla Singletary at 641-792-3121 ext. 6533 or

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