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Inaugural Christmas market to feature works of Valley artists

The Steel Town Studios and Friends Christmas Market at Concept Studio will be open from noon to 5 p.m. Sunday and Dec. 13.
Lantermans Mill_Bob Barko 11282020
“Lanterman’s Mill” by Bob Barko Jr. (Contributed image)

YOUNGSTOWN — Artist Bob Barko Jr. is bringing together a group of other local artists to present the inaugural Steel Town Studios and Friends Christmas Market at Concept Studio, 217 W. Federal St., from noon to 5 p.m. Sunday and Dec. 13.

Admission to the Christmas market is free, but due to COVID-19 guidelines, the number of people allowed in the venue at one time will be limited. Face coverings will be required, and social distancing will be encouraged.

The Christmas market will feature fine graphic art by Barko, owner of Steel Town Studios, along with work from the following local artists:

  • Repurposed stage and studio lighting fixtures by Jody Cercone;
  • Paintings by Will Duck Jr.;
  • Hand-lettered home decor, gifts and custom creations by Megan Factor;
  • Jewelry and photography by Mary Ann O’Leary;
  • Pottery and artwork by Daniel Rauschenbach.

“We couldn't let the Christmas season of our 20th year in business go by without a chance to see all of the Steel Town Studios faithful during this most wonderful time of the year,” Barko said in a news release. “And then, there is the huge bonus of bringing together some of my artist friends to share in some yuletide magic.”

Barko said the idea for the show began when he was working on the State Theatre mural in downtown earlier this year. The mural, part of the State Theatre Block Project, is located next to Concept Studio.

“I already knew my usual Christmas shows had been canceled or were up in the air,” Barko said. “Working next to this awesome venue inspired me to take matters into my own hands. So I spoke with Mary Ann, the owner, and also reached out to some of my Youngstown artist friends. Before we knew it, we had ourselves a Christmas market.”

Barko said the show will have a variety of gifting possibilities as each artist has his or her own distinctive wares.

“We have six artists, including myself, that have their own unique products. There will be a little something for everyone. ... Our guests will be able to find something truly one of a kind for that special someone on their gift list.”