First City Art Center’s Winter Art Market returns in December

After a successful inaugural year, the First City Art Center’s Winter Art Market will return early next month, offering a variety of unique artwork from local vendors.

This year’s event, on December 4, will feature over 20 local artists selling a variety of items including Christmas decorations, glassware, paintings, jewelry and more.

Kelly Leitermann, events manager at RAC, hopes people support their local artists by shopping at the event and giving back to the community.

“We could really use the community support,” Leitermann said. “The artists selling this work are really proud of the community and supporting them goes a long way.”

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ACFC created the Winter Art Market last year to provide an outdoor, socially distanced and safe event amid COVID-19 restrictions. About 400 people attended the event in its first year, organizers said.

This year, the market will include more food options than last year, like the Mad Munchies Food Truck and Le Petit Pecan Cafe, a new pop-up cafe in Pensacola. There will also be a Whim Cotton Candy vendor and others selling homemade candies.

Plus, plenty of festivities will take place around the market, as Open Books, a non-profit bookstore whose profits support the Prison Book Project, will be hosting a sidewalk book sale for those wishing to purchase a Christmas present.

Bike Pensacola will also be hosting its Gonzalez Shareway Day walk/ride past the Art Market to encourage safer cycling and walking in Pensacola. There will also be activities for children to participate in, such as crafts, big Jenga, cornhole and more.

In addition to the market vendors, ACFC will also host a gallery for artists who have studios in their 1060 gallery. These artists will showcase their work during the art market and also sell artwork.

Kyle Miller, a University of West Florida student majoring in fine art, will be among the sellers at the art market. He discovered the market from an Instagram post and thought it would be a good opportunity to create a place to sell art.

Miller and his friends created the Cold Water Initiative to raise awareness and educate people about sustainable artistic practices. This means, for example, that instead of getting industrially processed clay from a store, people can instead dig it out of the ground, allowing for a deeper connection with their art.

Miller and his friends also hope to find other like-minded nature artists and make connections in the art market.

“I think we’re just excited to really tell people about our practices with natural art and sustainable art,” Miller said. “And just explain why it’s so special and what it really means to us, but we’re also excited to see the other vendors as well.”

They will sell ceramic vessels and Christmas decorations such as bells and baubles.

Also at the event, RAC will be collecting gently used coats for the Gulf Coast Kid’s House. For a $10 donation, FCAC will enter people into a draw to win prizes. If guests donate a jacket, they will receive two raffle tickets.

The Winter Art Market will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, December 4 at 1060 N. Guillemard St.

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