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Saturday August 23rd, 2014

Posted at 5:41pm

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Custom leather? Aprons? Woodworking? There’s a vendor for that at Art by the River this weekend.

The Amherstburg Gibson Gallery presents its 48th annual Art by the River this weekend in Amherstburg’s Fort Malden. Artists and vendors of all kinds are lining the walkways of the fort, displaying and selling their works of art, and for the price of $5, anyone can attend.

Bonnie Deslippe, office administrator at The Gibson Gallery and vendor chair for Art by the River, said there are over 150 exhibitors this weekend. She expects more than 10,000 people to walk through the grounds during the two days and has high hopes for the event, as it is the main fundraiser for The Gibson Gallery each year.

“The money is what keeps the Gibson Gallery open,” said Deslippe. “It helps us run and maintain the gallery and we’re able to stay open without charging admission to anyone visiting the site. It allows us to put on exhibits, offer children’s classes at a nominal fee. It helps us promote the arts in Amherstburg.”

Art by the River offers something for everyone who’s attending. Pillows, wind chimes, jewelry, spices, jellies, paintings, dolls, clothing … the list of items never ends. Not to mention the event also hosts local musical talent which Deslippe said helps add to the ambiance of the festivities.

“It’s so great to spend the afternoon and morning at The Fort,” said Deslippe. “I mean we have lovely ambiance there, and just reconnecting with all the different artists. It’s nice to see the artists, but I always end up spending a few dollars there too. I can’t wait to kind of run around and see what they have to offer and take home a couple treasures for myself.”

Martie Ports attends the event yearly. She is a jeweler who makes jewelry from sea glass, some of which she finds in Lake Erie.

“I just like meeting people and I spend a lot of time making the things,” said Ports. “You can only give so many to friends and relatives, after a while what are you going to do with it? And it’s fun, this one in particular is nice because we have the river right behind us.”

Deslippe said as soon as the gates close and they tear the tents down on Sunday evening at 5pm, the wheels will start turning and they will be thinking of new ideas for next year.

“We look forward to it, we plan for it all year, it is our primary fundraiser,” said Deslippe. “There is a lot of hard work that goes in to this.”

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