Treasured Gifts for Men, Women, Children and Infants
By: Karen Bowes
Artisans United, Inc., which officially began in 1988, is a non-profit organization serving as a network of and for artists. Currently comprised of members of various Guilds and independent local artists and crafts-people, its primary purpose is to preserve, promote, and develop the disciplines of visual arts and crafts. The organization provides an intellectual and creative forum for the exchange of ideas, experiences, and materials among its members. Opportunities for growth and development are provided in a climate of mutual respect for the different disciplines with encouragement given to all members.
Artisans United, Inc. is tasked with taking arts out into the community. To fulfill this mission, we have participated in craft demonstrations, classes, talks, and exhibits both at the Gallery and in schools, hospitals, nursing homes, and libraries. In addition, we have taken part in the Annandale Fall Festival and have worked with the Cub Scouts and the Lifetime Learning Institute (which is connected with the Northern Virginia Community College). And, we also promote a ‘Christmas in July’ event, inviting the public to join us in making holiday ornaments to be shared with the residents of the Katherine Hanley Shelter in Fairfax County.
As a community resource, Artisans United, Inc. operates The Craft Gallery of Artisans United which is located just inside the front door of the Fred M. Packard Center in the Annandale Community Park off Hummer Road. Here the artists’ creations are on display and may be purchased.
During the year, The Craft Gallery of Artisans United presents 2 shows, each of which is two-months long. The openings of the May/June show and the November/December show include a reception, during which visitors to the Gallery are encouraged to come and enjoy light refreshments while viewing the artists’ new works. In addition, the Guilds are periodically honored, and they exhibit and sell their crafts during a show. Currently, the Potomac Fiber Arts Guild, which is made up of more than 300 fiber artists in the metropolitan DC area, is being highlighted for the March/April show. Gifts are very reasonably prices with the average cost of these fine artisan wares around $35.
A special feature of our current show is an exhibit of items from one of our member Guilds, the Potomac Fiber Arts Guild. The Potomac Fiber Arts Guild is an association of over 300 fiber artists located in the metropolitan Washington, DC area. The Guild provides educational programs, study groups, collaboration and fellowship around a wide range of fiber arts, including weaving, spinning, knitting, quilting, felting, dyeing and surface design.
The Craft Gallery of Artisans United is a cooperative endeavor, staffed and run by the independent members of Artisans United, Inc. as well as those individuals belonging to the member Guilds. On a daily basis, visitors will find the Gallery artisans happy to explain crafting techniques and to share their knowledge of where craft materials may be obtained. And, too, visitors will often discover impromptu demos in progress as the artists complete their creations. We are always looking for new craftspeople to join our organization. If you are interested in joining us as a member artist, please ask at the front desk for a membership packet which explains the jurying in process, what is expected of you as a member of Artisans United.
If you are looking for gifts, please visit the Gallery where you will find an exceptional range of items appropriate for baby, wedding, mother’s day, father’s day, graduation and housewarming gifts, or a special treat for yourself.
The Craft Gallery of Artisans United continues to look for new craftspeople. If you are interested in joining as a craftsman, we suggest you take a look at the items currently on display in the Gallery; see if you ‘fit’. Then you must be juried into the Gallery by a review board. The membership packet at the Gallery front desk will walk you through what’s required of you for this process. It will also explain what is required of you as a Gallery member should you decide to join.
We continue to look for new areas in which to share our love and knowledge of crafts. By holding classes, workshops and shows for both adults and children relating to arts and crafts and artistic development, we strive to fulfill our mandate. If you, or your organization, is interested in having us bring the arts to you, please contact us.
The Craft Gallery of Artisans United is located in the Fred M. Packard Center, located in the Annandale Community Park at 4022-C Hummer Road, Annandale, Va.
Hours: Monday-Saturday, 10am-4pm. We can be reached at 703-941-0202, or at our website at www.augallery.org.
ARTISANS UNITED GALLERY