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November's featured artist at Art Squared is Stephanie Piersol of Cypress Cottage Crafts. Piersol knits, crochets and creates handmade items fro apparel, home and just for fun. Photos courtesy of Art Squared

Art Squared gears up for the Holidays

Friday, November 9, 2018

Thanksgiving is right around the corner, which means the holiday season is close at hand. The Art Squared Arts Market is a great place to get a head start on purchasing fine handmade art for gift-giving. 

Sponsored by the San Marcos Art League, the Art Squared Arts Market features local and regional artists exhibiting and selling their handmade work. This free event takes place from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., on the old Hays County Courthouse lawn. Along with dozens of artists, including this month’s featured artist, Stephanie Piersol, enjoy a free Tai Chi in the morning, free children’s art activities and live music.

Piersol designs and creates high-quality handmade clothing and gift items. She sews, knits and crochets to create a wide variety of clothing and home décor, selling them through her business, Cypress Cottage Crafts.

“I have been crafting since I was a child because my parents owned a successful craft business,” Piersol said. “My mother was a great crafter and my appreciation for making things by hand started as I watched her create all kinds of handmade items to run her own business.”

Piersol has been a self-taught knitter for the past 15 years and learned crochet from her mother. She started her own craft business, Fashioned by Stephanie, in 2005, before changing the name to Cypress Cottage Crafts in 2014. Piersol says that creating handmade goods is more than just a business for her.

“Making things with my hands has a way of calming my nerves and keeping my hands and thoughts occupied,” Piersol said. “It is a great way to begin the day and a de-stressor at night.”

Piersol takes inspiration for her work from everyday moments.

“My inspiration for my creative work can really be anything that I could wear or use,” Piersol said. “I get ideas sometimes in the middle of the night or while commuting to and from work.”

She believes that art has great value not only for those that create it, but for the whole community. 

“It enriches the lives of not only those who make it, but those who get to view and appreciate it,” Piersol said. “It is important for our community to encourage creativity and allow for thoughtful discussion as we look at art with others...The arts are a form of entertainment that takes us away from electronics and opens up communication with others in our community.”

View Piersol’s creations at the Cypress Cottage Crafts’ website or stop by her booth and take a close look at her work in person. 

The live music kicks off at 1 p.m. with Trio Del Rio, featuring the husband and wife team of singer-songwriters, MariLisa and Tanner Swain, and their daughter Raeh Corl on viola. This local group creates music which crosses many genres, combining swing, jazz, Latin, blues, rock and folk. Discover their music at triodelrio.com and enjoy them at Art Squared.

November’s featured organization, Addicus’ Legacy Dog Rescue, saves dogs from high-kill shelters in Texas and finds them forever homes. This year alone over 250 dogs have been rescued and adopted through the efforts of Addicus’ Legacy, that is nearly a dog a day. Addicus’ Legacy Dog Rescue does not have a shelter and is completely foster-based. All dogs live with their host foster families until they are adopted. As a 501c(3) organization, it relies 100 percent on volunteers, donations and fundraising. They strive to help each and every dog that they are able, and often takes on dogs that have high medical needs. To learn more and to view photos of dogs needing homes, visit their website at Addicus' Legacy's website.

Children attending Art Squared Arts Market can explore their creative side at the Kid’s Craft Table. Each month they can experience a different art activity that will stimulate their creativity and allow them to create a unique piece of art. The Kids’ Craft Table is free and open to kids of all ages.

Enjoy Tai Chi with local teacher Margaret Falletta at 10 a.m. on the Courthouse lawn. Tai Chi is a slow, gentle martial art form which originated in China and has been practiced for hundreds of years. Falletta’s emphasis is on the health benefits Tai Chi provides – increased mental focus, decreased stress and better body balance. 

The Art Squared Arts Market is sponsored by the San Marcos Art League and is funded through memberships, donations and the city of San Marcos Arts Commission. The Art League’s goal is to create a successful, community-minded event that heightens awareness of the arts in San Marcos. Art Squared runs the second Saturday of every month between March and December.