The University Activities Board, or UAB, hosted the 59th annual Winter Arts and Crafts show at the MSU Union this weekend.
This year saw 125 vendors spread across the MSU Union selling everything from paintings to jewelry to soaps. Some vendors have been coming to the show for over 40 years. UAB Assistant Director Sara Stratilatov said that this is the first year the show is in full force since the start of the pandemic, and she is loves seeing the community come together for this event.
It was an opportunity for local artists to sell their work ahead of the holiday season and a fundraiser for the UAB.
“When I was learning the show, the thing that I realized right away was this is a staple of the community,” Stratilatov said. “This is beloved, people have feels about it. We have vendors who have been with us for 30-40 years of our 59 years. So, this is just this beloved community thing.”
Stratilatov said that this event is crucial for many people, including vendors who depend on the sale for their small businesses.
The UAB is very intentional with their vendor selection, Stratilatov said. They want to honor those who have been coming for years but they also must offer a variety of choices.
Sheryl Feldman and Carmen Scobie have been vendors at the show for the last five years.
“Our specialty is popular jewelry that’s refashioned and repurposed from vintage pieces,” Scobie said. “We also sell jewelry stands that can double as appetizers stands also made out of vintage China.”
Feldman and Scobie agree that this event is one of the best shows they go to every year, crediting its organization and how well-advertised it is.
“The organizers really do take very good care of the vendors which is really nice, especially because this is a second job for us,” Feldman said. “Coming in just knowing that there’s help, that they check on us to make sure everything’s going well, it’s a nice touch, which doesn’t always happen in other fairs.”
Biochemistry junior Nikita Nel came to the show looking for jewelry and Christmas gifts. She came to the event last year and wanting to come back.
“It’s good to definitely support local businesses and help them get more customers,” Nel said. “Also, you just get to find some things you may have not like known about and find cool stuff to like spread to your family.”
Human biology junior Sarah Roberts came to the event after hearing about it from Nel. While she is not usually a very crafty person, she said, she enjoyed looking around at the vendors’ work.
“Its inspiring, seeing all of the artwork and stuff,” Roberts said. “It’s kind of inspiring us to be more artsy.”
Rose Stevens, an East Lansing resident, came to the show for the first time this year. She said its a fun event for women to visit together.
Stevens said that she plans to come again in future years since she was so successful with her purchases. She has had to make trips back to her car to drop things off after buying them.
It helps support local artists, the UAB and MSU, she said.
“There is this value that comes from the arts, from music, from learning and being surrounded by those that enhances and enriches the community,” Stratilatov said.
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