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Indiana Artisan Marketplace preview Friday; annual event Saturday, Sunday

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INDIANAPOLIS – The Indiana Artisan Marketplace will offer greater access to the state’s best artists and “foodists” when it opens early for “A Taste of the Indiana Artisan Marketplace” preview party Friday. Guests will be able to buy one-of-a-kind art and food from more than 150 artisans while booths are stocked fully and the crowd is smaller
VSA Indiana, formerly Very Special Arts, is co-hosting the event and partnering with Indiana Artisan all weekend. A specially designed gallery will feature work from its statewide network. A portion of every ticket sold for the preview benefits VSA Indiana.  
The preview will be from 7 to 9:30 p.m. Friday in the Expo Hall at the state fairgrounds. Tickets are $35 and available in limited supply through VSA Indiana, online through the Indiana Artisan Web site, at Traders Point Creamery and at the door.  
As guests visit with artisans throughout the hall and enjoy the music of a string trio from the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra, they will be treated to cheeses from Traders Point Creamery paired with wines from Indiana vintners.  
Interior designer Chip Kalleen, owner of Indianapolis-based Kalleen & Co., will be on hand to talk with guests about the two artisan rooms that are another new addition to this year’s marketplace. Kalleen is lending his design talent to create two room settings showcasing furnishings and décor by Indiana Artisans.
Furnishings will run the gamut from rustic to refined and highlight some of the diverse design talent in the state. In addition, he will select accessories such as paintings, pottery, textiles, metalwork, glass and unique food items to complete the rooms from the artisans featured at the marketplace.
The marketplace will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday also at the Expo Hall. Now in its third year, the marketplace is a chance to buy artwork and artisan food directly from the Hoosiers who make it, to meet the artisans and to share their stories. In addition to browsing the booths, visitors throughout the weekend will enjoy live Indiana music, art and craft demonstrations, and food and drink tasting.
Tickets, available at the door Saturday and Sunday, are $10 for all ages.
Bev Minto, with the Perry County Convention and Visitors Bureau, said the event usually features many Perry County artists and local wineries, including the Winzerwald Winery and local artist Nita Claise. She added the CVB would be present at the event with a booth to talk about the new Tell City visitors center, the farmers market and Southern Indiana Market’s Fruits and Flower Trail.
The work of 250 artisans in nearly 60 Indiana counties has been juried into the organization and is part of the Indiana Artisan brand. Indiana Artisans include painters, woodworkers, winemakers, jewelry designers, weavers, makers of specialty cheeses and more.  
For more information, visit www.IndianaArtisan.org.