A new ornament competition is coming to the Muscatine Art Center as a fundraiser for Friends of the Muscatine Art Center. Crafters, artists, and craftsmen of all ages are encouraged to compete, and cash prizes will be award in two categories – one for adults and one for 18 and under. The Heartfelt and Handmade Ornament Competition will be on view from November 18th through December 14th.

The Friends organization is seeking handmade ornaments to be exhibited and sold or auctioned. A panel of judges will award prizes with first place receiving $100, second receiving $50, and third receiving $25. Individuals may enter up to five ornaments in the competition. Any material(s) may be used so long as the contributing individual crafted the ornament. All ornaments will be exhibited in glass showcases near the Muscatine Art Center’s front desk. Those contributing an ornament will receive a complimentary ticket for the special event held on the evening of November 18th.

On November 18th, the Muscatine Art Center will open the ornament exhibition as well as the exhibition, Norman Rockwell’s Home for the Holidays. The event will feature plenty of holiday cheer, catered hors d’oeuvres and musical entertainment. Event attendees will have the first chance to purchase an ornament with a set price. For ornaments selected for silent auction, event attendees will be the first to place bids. Event tickets will be $10 in advance, sold at the Muscatine Art Center, and $15 at the door.

“We are already hearing from artists and crafters who want to contribute ornaments,” explains Muscatine Art Center Director, Melanie Alexander. “We are expecting everything from ornaments made by knitting, painting and carving to those made with recyclables and natural materials. Everyone on the staff and Friends board is excited to see the many ways our local people can be creative.” 

To spark some creativity, the Muscatine Art Center is offering two ornament making classes – one for adults and one for children. Local artist, Carol Steinmetz, will teach the adult class on Thursday, October 26th. Julie Lear will teach the children’s class on Saturday, November 4th. Participants will be able to make multiple ornaments in class. In lieu of a class fee, participants are ask to either donate one of their ornaments to the competition or make a small donation. All ornaments must be delivered to the Muscatine Art Center no later than 5 p.m. on November 12th.

The Friends organization is also seeking sponsors for the Heartfelt and Handmade Ornament Competition. To be listed in all publicity, sponsorship commitments are requested by October 2nd. Sponsorship levels begin at $100.

All proceeds from the ornament competition benefit Friends of the Muscatine Art Center, a non-profit organization supporting educational programs at the Muscatine Art Center. To request an entry form for the ornament competition or to learn more about sponsorship, please contact Melanie Alexander at 563-263-8282 or email malexander@muscatineiowa.gov

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The Muscatine Art Center is located at 1314 Mulberry Avenue in Muscatine, Iowa. Hours are Tuesday through Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Thursday evenings until 7:00 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. Admission is free. Donations are appreciated. Visit www.muscatineartcenter.org for more information about programs and events and to download a class brochure.

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