Although Tillsonburg is in Oxford County, on the cusp of two other counties, it has always been more tightly aligned with Norfolk over the last century and a half.
We are certainly learning a lot more about each other’s counties now with our merged newspapers.
This article is a about a fantastic group we have called Oxford Creative Connections Inc., a not-for-profit arts and cultural group which not only links the arts across the county, but assists individuals and groups showcasing their talents. The ‘arts’ include literary, culinary, performing, and the gigantic visual arts. Most people thinking of visual arts as paintings or drawings, but don’t forget printmaking, sculpture, ceramics, photography, video, filmmaking, design, crafts, and architecture! But that is not all, the arts also include our historical and natural legacies, horticulture, festivals, events, and other culturally related businesses!
As COVID-19 flourished in the spring, there was great concern about the professional sports teams and players, although the money many of them make should be able to tide them over for a few years. But what about those in the arts? Actors, dancers and singers, the artists, most of those listed above. Most pros don’t make the same amount money, or have corporate sponsors or television rights. Non-professionals, of which there are more than you can image, use their talents to supplement their low incomes. How do they do that in a pandemic?
Well, Oxford Creative Connections is there to help again! Since all of their actual art shows and sales were cancelled due to the pandemic, they have started a Facebook group called Oxford Creative Christmas Market. Mary-Anne Murphy, the amazing co-ordinator, notes “This online platform allows artists, authors and other creative businesses to post their products for the public to see and purchase online this holiday season.”
This ‘show’ is up and running until Dec. 24. Vendors may apply to post items in the online market that are suitable for gifts. To participate, you will first need a ‘stall’ number from OCCI. Please contact Mary-Anne Murphy. (email@example.com) 519-777-1374, or contact them through the Facebook page.
They have had a tremendous response from the arts community thus far with well over 50 vendors showing their products and more joining each day.
Mary-Anne noted, “You can expect to find paintings, drawings, sculpture, jewellery, literature, specialty foods, photography, pottery, crafts, woodworking, fibre arts and much more. I am so pleased with the response so far. Artists are selling work and receiving lots of great feedback and the public is shopping locally.”
When you check out Oxford County Creative Christmas Market you will find the quality and assortment of items is astounding. There is even a marionette decked out in saddle shoes and poodle skirt and puppets! Local authors, including Elaine Cougler, are plying their books and you can never have too many books! Artists are posting new items each day so don’t forget to go back to check out new items. The arts community throughout Oxford County will truly appreciate your support.