Nov. 28, 2006
If you enjoy unique, handmade gifts and the opportunity to meet accomplished artists, then mark your calendar now for the annual holiday open house at Radius, HACC Gallery and Museum Shop. Scheduled for Saturday, December 9, from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., the event will be held in the craft gallery located in the State Museum of Pennsylvania, Third and North Streets.

Operated by HACC, Central Pennsylvania's Community College, the gift shop features merchandise produced by HACC contemporary crafts marketing students, as well as select items from the Pennsylvania Guild of Craftsmen.

Visitors to the open house will receive a free redware ornament, while supplies last, meet ceramic artist Pam Cummings, see HACC students demonstrate pottery-making on a potter's wheel and enjoy refreshments with entertainment provided by the West Shore School District string quartet.

In addition, Helen S. Schwartz, photography author for the recently released Gettysburg Book: Tell Them All About It, Won't You? will be on hand for a book signing from 1 to 3 p.m.

Jewelry from New Orleans artist Thomas Mann is exclusively available at Radius, as well as his books. Mann's works in metal are currently on exhibit at the State Museum. The exhibit, "Storm Cycle," is an assemblage of found objects and photos depicting the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

"We're a venue that offers unique, handmade, original pieces for people who are interested in finding that special gift for the holidays," said Jessica Lantz, curator of arts and assistant manager. "We want to reach out to non-museum visitors as well to let them know we are here."

The State Museum of Pennsylvania reopened the museum shop in February 2005 with a new look and products that feature the artistic talents of HACC students. While the venture brings entrepreneurial opportunities for HACC students, the Pennsylvania Historical Museum Commission, The State Museum's parent organization, maintains its focus on Pennsylvania artisans and Commonwealth-related merchandise. Radius also carries unique souvenirs of Pennsylvania and educational toys for children.

Radius has extended its hours of operation for the holidays. From now through December 23, the craft gallery will be open Tuesday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and Sunday, noon to 4:30 p.m. The shop and museum are closed on Mondays.

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