The Wassenberg has many items in their gift shop and on display in the annual Artist Exhibit Show on sale for the holiday season. (DHI Media/Kirsten Barnhart)
The Wassenberg has many items in their gift shop and on display in the annual Artist Exhibit Show on sale for the holiday season. (DHI Media/Kirsten Barnhart)

VAN WERT – As Christmas draws near people are looking for the perfect gift to get the special people in their lives. Hope Wallace, Director at the Wassenberg Art Center, said that the Wassenberg offers unique, one-of-a-kind gifts that would be perfect for the holiday season.

“We have everything from bath products, to pottery, to paintings, to prints, to handmade one-of-a-kind greeting cards,” said Wallace. “We also have repurposed items – items made out of junk.”

Wallace said the items come from both regional and local artists. She said she is currently expecting some unique bath bombs made from an artist in Texas who is originally from Ohio. The Wassenberg is also expecting lavender items from a lavender farm in Liberty Center.

While the gift show is open all year, the Wassenberg currently has artwork for sale as part of an exhibit.

“The annual Artist Exhibit Sale is a non-juried exhibit which means that all of the artwork submitted is excepted, and most of it is for sale,” said Wallace. “It’s a really great way to buy artwork at reasonable prices.”

Wallace said that a print might fade over time, but when a person purchases the original piece of work, they are buying a piece that will hold up and hold its value.

“It’s a better investment, and sometimes you never know, sometimes you can get hold of a good one,” said Wallace.

There are over 150 pieces on display in the Artist Exhibit Sale, and when a piece is purchased, it can be taken home that day.

“This work is not mass produced, and it’s all been made by a lot of people they know, and people that work hard up until 2:30 in the morning on what makes them happy,” said Wallace. “Being creative is a really good way to stay happy, it supports the local economy, and it also helps support their (the artists) income.”

“You can buy mass-produced products that are going to break in two weeks, or you can buy something that’s going to be more of an investment,” continued Wallace.

Wallace said that she also feels that giving original artwork as a gift shows people that they are loved and viewed as unique.

“It also shows that if I give you a one-of-a-kind painting, that means I think you’re a one-of-a-kind person,” said Wallace. “It’s a better celebration of the human experience.”

Wallace also said that many of the pieces tell stories and can be great conversation starters.

The Wassenberg Art Center is closed on Mondays, and open from 1-5 p.m. on Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. They are open 1-9 p.m. on Thursdays.