Grace Fine Art and Craft Festival a chance to 'support local artists'

The annual Milwaukee Grace Fine Art and Craft Festival Sunday, Nov. 6 shared 25 local artists' talents and creations ahead of the holiday season.

"About four years ago, my husband said, ‘Honey, you need something more than your IT job,’" said MaryAnne Roethle, Rockaway Pottery artist and founder. "That next Monday, I started taking classes and absolutely loved it."

Arts and crafts festivals like the one held at Grace Lutheran Church are important in creating opportunities for people like Roethle to share their passions.

"When you hear artists say, 'Support local artists,’ because when you buy something, the artist does a happy dance. We really do. We really do behind the scenes," said Roethle.

From pottery to candles to handmade jewelry, the festival had plenty to offer those looking to knock out some holiday shopping.

"We’re very appreciative of all our vendors that have come out to make this event what it is. It can’t happen without them and all our wonderful volunteers," said Chelsie Mattek, event coordinator.

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For visitors, it may have been a chance to shop, but for Grace Lutheran Church the annual event offers a chance to connect with the community.

"Our hope is that by sharing arts and crafts, eventually, we can share something more meaningful, and it’s that message of hope and forgiveness," said Mattek.