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Arts and Country Craft Fair to support veterans through local art show

The+Arts+and+Country+Craft+Fair+presents+a+variety+of+home+decor%2C+artful+apparel+and+gifts.+The+fair+invited+people+to+shop+from+local+artists+to+support+programs+for+veterans.
Emma Hu
The Arts and Country Craft Fair presents a variety of home decor, artful apparel and gifts. The fair invited people to shop from local artists to support programs for veterans.

The Art and Country Craft Fair is held on May 11 from 11 a.m to 3 p.m. Tina Mangos, Art and Country Craft Fair organizer, said the primary goal of organizing the fair was to support veterans in terms of mental health and specifically, the Carmel Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), a Carmel veterans organization. 

“I’m an artist and educator and I wanted to organize an art fair to benefit the VFW programs,” Mangos said. “Part of the proceeds will go to Hamilton County mental health services for veterans. Our veterans face unique mental health challenges when returning from service.”

Additionally, Mangos said this fair also provided representation for local artists. 

“A group of 20 artists collaborated in this project,” Mangos said. “This is the first year for this event and hopefully, it will become an annual art fair.”

Mangos said the fair has been coming along smoothly and many obstacles have been cleared. 

“There was no budget for (the fair),” Mangos said. “Marketing is always a challenge and we all pitched in and promoted on social media and other avenues.”

Piper Mason, Principles of Fashion and Textiles student and sophomore, said the choice to host an art fair to achieve the organizers’ mission was very beneficial to artists. 

Deesha Roopesh

“Being able to display art helps people notice artists and encourages them to try it out if they’re also interested,” Mason said. “They also help people notice local artists who might not be well-known or represented, which could help their career.”

Avner Cohen, Jewelry 1-2 (L) student and sophomore, said he agreed with Mason that art fairs were effective in increasing the representation of artists. 

He said, “Displaying the art of (artists) in these kind of fairs not only encourages them to continue on their pursuit of art, but also gives them an opportunity to be recognized by others.”

Cohen said he thought the idea of choosing an art fair to help with veterans’ mental health greatly emphasized the relationship between art and mental health. 

“Art is important to learn because it helps with expression and mental health in general,” Cohen said. “The better you get at art, the easier it is to create art that aligns with your intentions, which helps you express what you wanted to more accurately.”

Mason said, “Art helps greatly with my mental health because it lets me get into the creative side of my brain after focusing so much on academics, which is very relieving and helps my mental health.”

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