The eighth annual Winter Outback Art Fair is in full swing at the National Guard Armory near the intersection of Lincoln and Wright streets.

The show features local artists showcasing jewelry, paintings, sculptures and more in the armory’s gymnasium. Some of the vendors have used recycled materials in their art while others have written books about the Upper Peninsula and were there for signed copies.

“It’s a compilations of several of local artists that are looking for another venue,” said Show Director Cindy Engle. “This is a smaller show than at the Superior Dome, but you can still see some sweet things and nice artwork.”

The Winter Outback Art Fair is the seasonal version of the Outback Art Fair, one of the major art shows in Marquette’s summertime. The winter edition has bounced between different locations before settling down in the armory for the last four years.

Eli Brooks is one of the local artists at the fair making her first appearance at the winter fair after participating in the summer one for eight years. She specializes in pen and ink portraits and nature drawings.

“I learned about this show after participating in the summer Outback,”Brooks said. “I’m very comfortable here.”

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This is the first year that the show has started on Black Friday. In previous years Outback Art Fair started on Saturday and went to Sunday. Engle said that Sundays had mixed results due to the large amount of travelling, but as more big box businesses opening on Thanksgiving it no longer prevent shoppers from attending the show.

“Friday didn’t make a lot of sense because people were shopping elsewhere,” Engle said. People aren’t waking up at one in the morning now to go shopping because they’re already out.”

Rolling Smoke BBQ is providing food for the event. Canned and non-perishable food items are also being collected for the TV 6 Can-a-thon. Some vendors take credit cards as well as cash.

The show will last til 6 p.m. today. Admission is free.


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