Artspace Seconds Sale a first-rate affair

  • People browse merchant tables at the Greenfield Artspace's 37th annual pottery sale held at Greenfield Community College Saturday, March 5. Recorder Staff/Matt Burkhartt

  • Donna Kucharski and Julie Beaudoin, of Greenfield, browse the work of Mariel Daniels, who signs her work as MADartes, at the Greenfield Artspace's 37th annual pottery sale held at Greenfield Community College Saturday. Recorder Staff/Matt Burkhartt

  • Samantha Luk, of Northampton, chats with artist Donna Estabrooks while looking at some of her paintings at the Greenfield Artspace's 37th annual pottery sale held at Greenfield Community College Saturday, March 5. Recorder Staff/Matt Burkhartt

Recorder Staff
Published: 3/6/2016 10:28:15 PM

GREENFIELD — From piles of boxes stacked upon each other on the floor to extravagant vendor displays, the Artspace’s annual Pottery Seconds and More Sale has evolved into a highly anticipated event throughout the past 37 years.

“Nobody had any tables. People would just sit on the floor and go through the boxes,” said Mary Kay Hoffman, a prior executive director of Artspace, recalling those earlier events. “It was at the Greenfield Library Association Building on Main and Franklin streets and it became clear to us that it was something everyone wanted to be a part of and we moved it to Greenfield High School so we could accommodate a lot more potters.”

The sale was moved to the Greenfield Community College dining commons when the high school renovations began a few years ago. Event Co-Chair Diana Roberts said 33 vendors from surrounding counties participated in this weekend’s two-day event, adding that it might have to move to a larger location on campus if additional vendors wish to join. She said the event is popular with local artisans because there isn’t an entry fee and 35 percent of the proceeds from all sales benefit the nonprofit organization’s art and music classes.

Many of the potters like Malea Rhodes were selling items at a reduced price. She said some of her handmade kitchen items had blemishes like a scratch or crack that were unnoticeable to the untrained eye, but weren’t considered gallery quality, and had to find other outlets to showcase her work. She said submitting pieces to a gallery is simple; however, the artist only makes a 50 percent commission from the sale and once an item is considered to have lost value and isn’t beneficial for the gallery to keep in stock, the artist is then responsible for its sale, which is why craft shows are so popular with vendors.

“I do about eight shows a year and this show is great because it’s free and part of the proceeds go toward the Franklin County Arts Council,” she said. “The organizers have been really good to us and it’s organized very well.”

“The fact that I get to make something for someone to take home to use in their everyday life is so important to me,” she added. “All my items are microwave, oven, dishwasher and food safe.”

Roberts said a snowstorm hit the Pioneer Valley during last year’s event and said nice weather really made a difference in the amount of visitors who came out to the sale, although she couldn’t provide an exact number of visitors who came out for the sale. Greenfield resident Jane Alexander has been a loyal attendee for the past 10 years and said the affordable prices and the quality of the handmade crafts keep her coming back for more.

“I usually come every year,” she said. “I’ve found some beautiful pieces in the past. The quality is really consistent and the prices are good.”

About Artspace

The Artspace is a nonprofit organization that was founded in 1973 and offers weekly art classes and music lessons for all ages. Call 413-772-6811, email or visit the website at for more information.


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