Community members enjoy second annual OLAH Art, Crafts, Antiques and Collectibles Show

By Randy Johnston

Special to the Herald Review

EVART — Hundreds of local residents attended the second annual Art, Crafts, Antiques and Collectibles Show on Saturday, Oct. 26, which was sponsored by the Osceola League for Arts and Humanities.

The spacious community building at the Osceola County Fairgrounds was filled with more than 30 exhibits featuring antiques, collectibles and the creations of talented artists and crafters from all parts of Michigan.

Highlights included customized hammered dulcimers designed by David Ladd, of Evart. A dulcimer musician and member of the Original Dulcimer Players Club, Ladd creates instruments to order ranging from smaller versions with 12 strings to striking 42-inch-by-26-inch models with 22 strings.

Constructed from highly polished wood, the dulcimers are works of art and prized by enthusiasts from Michigan and beyond. Ladd, who also repairs the instruments, has been involved in crafting and playing the dulcimer for twelve years.

Many visitors admired the unusual découpage art of Rita Davis from Farwell. Items ranging from bracelets to boxes, tables and other furniture are completely covered in small fragments of paper salvaged from magazines and arranged in intricate patterns.

“I enjoy découpage a lot,” she said. “I’ve been doing it for about four or five years. A simple bracelet takes about an hour to do, but a large piece like a desk with lots of surfaces and corners is complicated and can take weeks.”

Sarah NcNees, of Mount Pleasant, was delighted by the "Bursting Memories" scrapbooks designed by Debbie Delano, of Morley, and June Bruske, of Evart. They appear to be albums or scrapbooks, but "burst" open into one large, unfolding page with spaces for multiple photos and other keepsakes.

“I bought one with a Christmas theme on the cover for my friend who loves Christmas items,” said McNees. “And I bought five more for gifts for other friends. I go to a lot of craft shows and they’re unique. I have never seen anything like them.”

The Antiques Roadshow-style appraisals by antiques connoisseur and auctioneer Robert Anderson, of Hersey, attracted many onlookers who gathered to learn more about a number of heirlooms and family treasures brought in for evaluation.

“I’ve seen a lot of interesting things today,” he said. “Quite a few pottery pieces of different types, signed limited edition prints, a Civil War era sewing kit, an airplane compass from a B-17 and a flag that flew over the Sept. 11 site.”

Eileen Powell, of Big Rapids, was pleased to have details about a set of highly decorative vintage playing cards that belonged to her grandfather. Each card has photos of a sports figure, entertainer or politician.

Anderson explained that the cards date from about 1880 to 1910 and have a current value of $75 to $100.

“We’re happy with the turnout today,” said league secretary Renee Tolgo. “I’m hearing that people like the variety of items we have this year and they think the prices are reasonable. Our members worked hard to get ready for the show and we appreciate all their help and all the fine vendors who helped make this a successful show.”

The Osceola League for Arts and Humanities studio and gift shop are located at 207 N. Main St., Evart. For more information about the league and an application to participate in next year’s show, contact Tolgo at (231) 388-5749.