The inaugural arts and crafts fair in Kaleva is a success

KALEVA – While the annual celebration of Kaleva Days has been put on hold for another year, there was still plenty to do for residents and visitors this weekend.

An arts and crafts exhibition, the first of its kind in this region, was organized by the Kaleva Art Gallery on Saturday.

Gallery member Tricia Boucha organizer of the inaugural event said it was a success and intends to bring the arts and crafts fair back next summer.

“We have a wonderful, eclectic mix of different artisans, craftspeople and vendors,” Boucha said. “The fees were low enough that I think they brought in people from all different regions. Everyone seemed really happy with the spaces we gave them.”

Nearly 50 artists had booths at the show, Boucha said, including some like Jeri. L. Miley, a painter and mosaic artist from Grand Rapids who traveled considerable distances to present her work to Kaleva.

The outdoor exhibit was a first for Miley, whose work has been shown in locations in Metro Detroit and New York City.

Jeff Sanborn, a retired and recently transplanted carpenter to the Bear Lake area said the show was welcoming.

“It has only been positive,” Sanborn said. “It’s actually a pretty good performance that turned out. I do this mainly for fun and if I make a few bucks it’s okay.

Boucha noted that an increasing number of Michigan-based artists like her and Sanborn have moved to the area in recent years.

“I have noticed that a lot of the people who are joining the gallery are new transplants here,” Boucha said. “I think people in that 40 to 60 age bracket as a rule, artisans get bored of the suburbs, and the city … and I think COVID may have contributed a little to that, because they want to get away from the masses and be in a cleaner, less populated area. “

“… So I think they are just putting their talent at the service of a cleaner and healthier environment,” she continued.

Some events traditionally held during Kaleva Days have also made a comeback this year, including the community garage sale and the car show.

Boucha said that attending these events, as well as the arts and crafts fair, could help develop the Kaleva community.

“We did it the same weekend as the auto show to attract more people, which I think we really did because there are more cars here than I’ve ever seen. here. Last year I think there was a third. ” she said. “I entered (Kaleva Tavern) several times for lunch… and they were so busy they couldn’t even take our order. So hopefully that means some of these buildings can reopen and give back again. a little bit of city life. “

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