Mary’s Holiday Fair Schedule 2009

Last Saturday I drove up to East Jordan to participate, for the third time, in their annual Holiday Art Fair sponsored by the Jordan River Arts Council. The three-hour trip is always worth it for me: not only do I get lots of help unloading, but my work is always appreciated there.

If you missed that one, look for me at one of these Michigan events:

November 22, Bay City, Sunday, 4 to 8 p.m. Mary Blocksma Studio, 1101 5th St. 

December 3, Midland, Thursday, 3-8 p.m., Holiday Craft Fair, 1309 Parkway 

December 4, Saginaw, Friday, 10-4, Andersen Center, 120 Ezra Rust Dr.

December 5, Ann Arbor, Saturday, 10-4, Women’s City Club, 1830 Washtenaw

If I survive that three-in-a-row series (they just happened that way this year), my work is available by appointment any time before Christmas. Contact me for times or for more information about any of the above:

 

Don’t miss these fabulous recent books!

The most important book I’ve read in a long time is Half the Sky, by Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn. It’s not an easy read, but I read it all, through all the rapes and abuse and violence and murder that women suffer around the world. Okay, I have always known that women suffer, but I have never really understood in what numbers, and how blazée the news media and international governments have been about it. Women are treated as if they are invisible.

For example, when 100,000 girls are being routinely kidnapped and trafficked into brothels, we never hear about it. When a prominent dissident is arrested, however, it’s international news. “The global statistics are numbing,” state the authors in the preface. “More girls have been killed in the last fifty years, precisely because they were girls, than men were killed in all the wars of the twentieth century. More girls are killed in routine ‘gendercide’ in any one decade than people were slaughtered in all the genocides of the twentieth century.”

The answer, say the authors and many experts, is education and microloans. Educating girls is the most powerful way to reach economic and political stability, in addition to doing justice to half the world’s population. Small loans empower women in the Third World.

Please. Read this book. Even small steps to help can have extraordinary results.

My favorite fun book, which I just finished, is Hot House Flower and the 9 Plants of Desire, by Margot Berwin. This is a wild tale about a New York ad writer in her 30s, just divorced, who finds herself on a wild journey through the jungles of Mexico after becoming seduced by both plants and plant-lovers. Since I have been a house-plant person for years, I especially enjoyed the exotic plant information that goes along with the adventures. Sexy and wise and hard to put down.

The most beautiful literary fiction I’ve enjoyed recently is The Lieutenant, by Kate Grenville, a historical novel based quite closely on a true story. It follows an astronomer sent with the first shipment of convicts from Britain to Australia in 1788. This page-turner offers a fascinating look at the first contact between the British and the aborigines. Kate Grenville won the Man Booker Prize with her previous novel, The Secret River, also about convicts sent to Australia, so I read that one, too, but I didn’t like it as well as The Lieutenant.

Sunday, November 22: My 2009 Open House

Please come help me downsize so if I buy a house (I’m looking), I’ll be able to fit into it! Almost everything in my studio—original art, prints, posters, cards, purses—will be at least 50% off and many things much more than that. I’m also offering picture frames, mats and some of my student art materials. If I have room, I may include a pre-garage sale of better items and I’m offering discounts for teachers buying for their students.

My 6-foot scarves have been so popular this year that I’m offering a huge new selection. Come enjoy a glass of wine, good company and an unusual assortment of delicious art bargains.

Sunday, November 22, from 4 to 8 Mary Blocksma’s Studio, 1101 Fifth Street, Bay City, Michigan.