Artists and creators on the Border are urging shoppers to buy their handmade products for Christmas gifts after their exhibition opens this weekend.
Creator's Artspace members are opening their members exhibition at 6pm on Friday night and will hold a Creators Maker's Market on Saturday and Sunday from 8am to 12pm at Gateway Village on the Causeway.
Creator's Artspace president Abi Thompson welcomed the exhibition and markets after COVID-19 disrupted sales and customer relations throughout the year.
"Like everyone else we're trying to emerge back into pre-COVID times," she said.
"Some of the participants have small products, gifts for sale, so it's actually good to promote outside the front door.
"The type of products we've got here, we've got print and etchings and dry point etchings and photography and we've got hand painted dresses, we've got botanical shirts, we've got ceramics, we've got leather work and we've got hand woven goods.
"So that covers a fair bit of distance, the actual members exhibition has got oil paintings and prints...so plenty of things."
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Ms Thompson said there had already been an influx of people over the last week wanting to buy local and handmade products.
"The circus festival and hothouse reopening has increased our foot traffic, so I would say 20 people a day overall, especially when the shows are on," she said.
"That actually fuses into our enthusiasm for things, how much we produce, how effective that is with funding bodies when we go for more funding, it's just a ripple effect in terms of publicity for the place.
"We're always striving to make sure everyone knows where we are and what we do."
Creator's Artspace member Therese Pitman said she had a personal record number of works on display at the exhibition, which will run throughout January to show the works of members during COVID-19.
"It's the first time I've sort of done five items, and that's due to all the time I've had with COVID," she said.
But though she was productive in lockdown, Ms Pitman said she was glad artists were allowed back into the space together again.
"It's a really large part of who we are together and especially when we're working these print presses that we're actually collaborating with each other," she said.
"Getting together is actually really good for us in terms of what we're producing, but also socially it assists the artistic creative process."
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