What do artists need?

By Alisha Siebers, Executive Director, Vicksburg Cultural Arts Center

What do artists need? To find out, I sat down with Cindy Krill in the spacious, airy historic barn at Prudential Nursery, built in 1915 for the nursery’s storage and shipping. Surrounded by Cindy’s beautiful horsehair pottery and accompanied by her friendly barn cats, Kiki and Susie, we thought about what fuels creativity and productivity.

This November will be the 30th anniversary of Cindy’s Annual Holiday Art Sale, so we reflected on how the annual sale and her art career have grown over the decades. When she started the sale, she created flyers and sold only her own work from her small barn. The next couple of years, she added her sister’s dried flowers and her sister-in-law’s quilts. Today, the sale features local artists’ work in woven and crocheted fiber arts, jewelry, stained glass, found metal sculpture, photography, paintings, and, of course, a wide range of pottery.

Cindy advised that, in order to create, you need a block of time. She explained that “the best thing for being creative is to carve out the time and to be dedicated to it.” She also noted that artists need patron support. Artists need to sell in order to buy more art supplies. Cindy remembers when she sold her first ceramic pieces: “It feels good that someone likes it enough to want to use it every day. Some people say they like it so much, they put it away in a cupboard to keep it safe. But they should use it!”

Community is also crucial for artists. Many of the artists who sell at Cindy’s sale have been her friends for decades. Cindy pointed out, “Community helps. You encourage and inspire each other: you’ll see something and think ‘Oh, that’s really cool’ or ‘I’m going to try that.’”

Cindy’s coterie of artists shared new techniques, went to workshops together, sold at the same shows, and even attended national ceramics conferences together. Today, now that their busy group doesn’t share studio space, the Annual Holiday Sale is their main way to reconnect and see what everyone is doing.

You’re invited to come out and see, too! Cindy’s cleaning up the barn right now to get ready for the 30th Annual Holiday Art Sale at Prudential Nursery, which will be held Saturday, November 6 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Come join their community for the morning and get inspired, educated and enriched!

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