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Arkansas Craft Guild Making a Comeback


October 24, 2003


Arkansas Craft Guild Making a Comeback
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By Craig Ogilvie, travel writer
Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism

MOUNTAIN VIEW -- Forty years after its founding and 20 years after opening outlets in several other towns around the state, the Arkansas Craft Guild found itself over-extended a few years ago. A total reorganization turned the cooperative around, and now the state's best-known craft guild is making a comeback.

After downsizing to just one outlet in downtown Mountain View, the Guild had a successful 2002 business year. "When we lost the other stores, we also lost some members," manager Kathy Sheskey explains. "However, membership is now climbing and sales have been very good in recent months."

Since its founding in the early 1960s, the Arkansas Craft Guild has been a nationally recognized leader in marketing native crafts. In the beginning, the Guild marketed its wares through roadside outlets throughout the north-central Ozarks, and the organization sponsored craft festivals at Mountain View and Heber Springs. Today, the Craft Guild's prestigious Christmas Showcase in Little Rock and a smaller craft fair during the annual Arkansas Folk Festival remain.

The Mountain View shop is housed in an historic Main Street building surrounded by shops and restaurants. The works of about 60 selected Guild members displayed throughout four rooms of the shop include a wide variety of pottery, earthenware, glassworks, turned wooden bowls, hardwood cutting boards, original paintings, prints, lithographs, hand-sculptured dolls, wooden toys, quilts, musical instruments and many decorative items.

The Christmas Showcase will feature more than 100 of the Guild's master crafters. The annual holiday event is set for Dec. 5-7 at the Statehouse Convention Center in Little Rock. The show will open at 10 a.m. each day.

The Mountain View Craft Gallery is open from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday and from 12:30 to 5:30 p.m. on Sunday during the warm seasons. It is closed on Sundays after October. For more information, call (870) 269-4120 or visit www.arkansascraftguild.org.

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Submitted by the Arkansas Department of Parks & Tourism
One Capitol Mall, Little Rock, AR 72201, (501) 682-7606
E-mail: info@arkansas.com

May be used without permission. Credit line is appreciated:
"Arkansas Department of Parks & Tourism"

ARKANSAS DEPARTMENT OF PARKS & TOURISM
1 Capitol Mall, 4A-900 - Little Rock, Arkansas 72201 | 1-800-872-1259 or (501) 682-7777 (V/TT)
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