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Think it's Local Art? Think Again

A biannual show at Burroughs school drew artists from across the Midwest.

was transformed into bustling artists' souk this weekend, its hallways glittering with handmade jewelry, fine textiles, lush paintings, and beautiful ceramics.

It wasn't quite a dead ringer for "Arabian Nights"—there was a distinct lack of camels and donkeys—but many of the artists displaying their wares had traveled from far away.

"I have friends here from Illinois, who I never see outside of the art fairs we do together," jewelry maker and Lynhurst resident Linda Smith said. 

Smith herself once roamed the country, from Florida to Minnesota, displaying her works with a tight-knit community of jewelry makers from around the country. Since her daughter, a Burroughs student, was born she "only" does shows in the Midwest.

It can sometimes be hard, but without a shop to sell her sleek, almost nautical-looking earrings, pendants, and bracelets, it's the only way she's able to make a living.

"I think she was really excited to see me take part in this art fair," she said. "She gets to see why I work all day (at home) and can't stop in the middle to play with her."

Smith's daughter will get another benefit from the biannual show. The scores of participating artists collectively donate $1,200 dollars to the school's art program at the end of each show, said organizer Nedra Nicholls.

For jewlers Duke Klassen and LaDes Glanzer, raising their three kids on the art-show circuit was an adventure.

"We'd put the three kids, the two of us, and all our things in the van," Klassen said. "And the dog, too."

"The children grew up very independently," Klassen added with a chuckle. "While we were at shows working, they were running around."

Even if—or perhaps, because—her childhood was suffused with this semi-itinerant lifestyle, Glanzer and Klassen's daughter and fellow jewler Brenna Klassen-Glanzer so far hasn't had many regrets deciding to follow in her parents' footsteps at age 24. It shows in her work, which shares some of the same naturalistic and nature-inspired themes and techniques her parents developed while teaching themselves metalwork.

"I grew up with my parents working around the house" on their work, Klassen-Glanzer said. "Their influence runs deep—my mom comes up with an idea around the same time as I do sometimes."

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