What's On: The Winter Arts Fair

With the Winter Arts Fair in its third year, Chloe Duane takes a look at what’s new this time aroundCalling all art lovers! Yes, I’m talking to you. Are you looking for a pre-Christmas event full of unique goodies to lavish your friends and family with? Or perhaps you just want to enjoy the Christmas celebrations in Dublin city centre with a glass of mulled wine, and without the pushy, stressful crowds? Then we at Otwo have found a treat for you.The third annual Winter Arts Fair, organised by the Centre for Creative Practices, is taking place on December 8th – 18th. One of the Fair’s organisers, Monika Sapielak, describes it as an opportunity to “find something more personal” rather than the standard mainstream Christmas presents such as the cosy socks or cheap perfume that we are all guilty of buying.There is something for everyone in this fair, including the student on a tight budget. It opens with a free jazz concert from the multi-talented singer and composer Dorota Konczewska and Friends, at which homemade mulled wine will be served to those attending.Marta Wakula-Mac, an artist who has exhibited her pieces in National Gallery of Ireland and around Europe, will be holding a Christmas card making workshop on December 5th from 6:30pm – 9pm. This is an introductory workshop about making Christmas cards through linocut and other printmaking techniques.Or why not tag along to see 2009 Fringe Festival performer Eleonore Nicholas in A Spoonful of Silence on December 17th at 4pm. This incredibly personal piece has been described by Sapielak as a “balance” in the “chaos of the usual Christmas rush.” For those of you who just want to get your dancing shoes on, there is also a Christmas party with music and lighting by DJ Chuck taking place on December 17th at 9pm.This fair, which took three months to organise, brings something special to Dublin that is unlike any other event that happens throughout the year. It is inspired by European markets, which do not have the same presence in Ireland as they do on the continent. Sapielak explains that “a big part of audiences are people from different parts of Europe … the tradition of Christmas markets is much stronger there, so we want to bring it more to Dublin in an artistic form.”All the money raised from the events will go to helping local and multicultural artists as well as the Centre for Creative Practices in maintaining its presence as the leading multicultural arts venue in Ireland, which is this year’s winner of the Media and Multicultural Award for ‘Not-for-profit Multicultural Company of the Year’.The Winter Arts Fair runs from December 8th to 18th at the Centre for Creative Practices, located at 15 Pembroke Street, Dublin 2.