The State Historical Society of Missouri will host its 5th Annual Holiday Open House Saturday, Dec. 2, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. at the Center for Missouri Studies, 605 Elm St., Columbia. Visit more than a dozen booths featuring gift items created by local and regional artisans while strolling through the festively decorated Center for Missouri Studies. Refreshments will be served, and the event is free to the public. Books and Missouri-themed gifts will also be available for purchase in the bookstore with extended hours that day.
Entertainment between 10 a.m. and noon include members of the Choral Arts Alliance of Missouri’s Columbia Chorale, who will perform holiday carols. Santa and Mrs. Claus will be greeting visitors all morning and welcome anyone who would like to take a photograph with Santa, too.
Several new exhibitions are open to the public in the art gallery, including a video installation, "Resurrection," created by artist Valerie Wedel, an art professor at William Woods University in Fulton. The contemporary installation combines handmade copies of personal letters from the SHSMO archives. The enlarged images have been artistically “aged” for effect, crumpled and scattered with animation and projected in a darkened room to revive the texts. Wedel will be in the art gallery from 1-3 p.m. to discuss her installation with visitors.
Visitors can also view Small Towns, Big Stories, an exhibition that showcases 75 years of the Missouri Photo Workshops, which has captured images of life in rural Missouri towns. The exhibit includes 121 images taken in 51 towns since the workshops began in 1949. Also on display are photographs from this year’s inductees of the Missouri Photojournalism Hall of Fame.
The Holiday Open House boasts unique gifts and the chance to support Missouri artists and artisans by shopping local. Participating vendors include Boone Olive Oil, Camps with Bears, Cindy Lou's Glass Studio, Double Lucky by Mandy, Midway Mercantile Co., Shortwave Coffee, Sugarberry Blooms, The 1818 Project, Three Creeks Pottery, MASU Paper Goods, Villasana Woodworks, and Wildflower Revival. In addition, a variety of items by Missouri artisans are for sale in the Richard Bookstore, located inside the Center for Missouri Studies, which is open year-around.