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Victoria Art League rings season with Christmas bazaar

By JR Ortega
Dec. 3, 2012 at 6:03 a.m.

Bill Bauer, president of the Victoria Art League, says he believes shopping locally goes without saying. The league is selling art during its Christmas Bazaar from 1 to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday until Dec. 22 at the league's headquarters, 905 S. Bridge St.

Being a hidden treasure is not a good thing - ask Bill Bauer.

For the past three years, he has pushed to expose the Victoria Art League, and the annual Christmas Bazaar is another one of those times.

"It's all original artwork by our league members," said Bauer, the league's president.

The art league's shop, 905 S. Bridge St., has wall-to-wall art, from seasonal ornaments to paintings, pottery and photography.

Proceeds from some of the items go toward the league, but some are commissioned art pieces, and the league only gets a percentage.

The league's biggest struggle has always been not enough exposure, Bauer said. Many don't even realize there is a building housing a pottery barn and studios in downtown Victoria.

"It's hard to get people down here," he said.

The league uses opportunities such as the bazaar and a booth at market days to get its name out into the community more.

Eunice Collins, league member, has taken matters into her own hands and started a class called Paint the Town. The idea is to introduce nonartists into the art world.

Collins is a beginner.

"Look at all this," she said gazing at the items on the walls of the building. "Our community really needs to be eating this up."

Not all the art on the walls are holiday festive.

Oil paintings of crashing waves and of scenic countryside also blanket the studios.

The gifts definitely serve a niche audience, but it's definitely worth a look, Bauer said. Bauer's message is to support area businesses first.

"If you want a unique, one-of-a-kind gift, this would be the place to come," he said. "We're often called the best-kept secret in Victoria, and we don't want to be."



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