Holiday Happenings: Van Go Adornment
photo by: Nick Krug
Shoppers in Lawrence will have the opportunity again this holiday season to shop for some local, handmade arts and crafts while helping support an arts-based job training program for at-risk teens in the area.
This year’s Van Go Adornment Art Show and Sale begins Saturday, Nov. 24, at the Van Go headquarters, 715 New Jersey St.
The annual event is the primary fundraiser for Van Go, a nonprofit agency that provides after-school and summer job-training programs to high-needs youths, ages 14 to 24.
Eliza Damron, development director at Van Go, said this year’s sale will feature works from about 30 young apprentice artists. Those works include greeting cards, fused glass and jewelry.
Also available, she said, will be painted walking sticks, and even a large-scale sleigh with reindeer, which she described as a kind of 3D puzzle that can be taken apart and reassembled.
The program has been working this year with three local artists — Raven Naramore, Alicia Kelly and Allison Sheldon, all under the direction of Van Go art director Rick Wright.
The opening night program for this year’s sale begins at 6:45 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 24, when the apprentice artists will be introduced. A few of them will offer remarks. Shopping will begin at 7 p.m.
Shopping is also available from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays, and 1 to 5 p.m. on weekends, through Dec. 23.
Van Go is now celebrating 21 years in operation. It began when founder Lynne Green used a donated Checker limousine and a $2,000 grant from the Kansas Arts Commission to launch an arts-based social service and job-training program that gives kids the opportunity to create public works of art.
What began as a mobile outreach program for underserved youths has since grown into a nationally recognized arts-based employment program for at-risk teens and young adults.