CHRISTKINDLMARKT AT THE HALLET OAK GALLERY
In the weeks before Christmas, cities throughout Germany offer an open air market, Christkindlmarkt. Originally markets to buy winter necessities, they developed into Christmas Markets and a Christmas tradition. Shoppers at Christkindlmarkts sip warm drinks as they stroll among vendors of Christmas goods: tree ornaments, wreaths, candles, baked goods, candies, and other comestibles.
The Hallet Oak Gallery, located in the famed Kahn & Stanzel Building, will host Hallettsville’s first Christkindlmarkt December 19th from 9 AM – 8 PM. Dr. Betty Edwards, owner of the building, is sponsoring the event. Tables are now available to market cookies, noodles, strudel or other items with local charm or international flair. Enhancing the Christmas spirit from 6-8 PM, pianist Denise Drozd and vocalist Ruth Najvar Rouse, will perform traditional Czech, German, and Polish music. Spotlight on the Arts featuring award-winning artists Roy and Blanche Cavarretta will continue during the event, and the Majek Vineyard and Winery will provide free wine tastings from 2-8 PM.
Houston physician Dr. Betty Edwards serves on the boards of various organizations and has restored a number of Texas buildings to preserve their history. She founded the Cultural Events Center in Hallettsville and continues to support the arts through the Hallet Oak Gallery. Das ist Lustig trio will perform traditional German Christmas music from 4 to 6 PM. Hallettsville’s favored pianist, Denise Drozd is well known for her performances at local churches, and special occasions for half a century. Drozd loves show tunes as well as classical music and spends many hours rehearsing. Ruth Najvar Rouse, a devoted St. Mary’s Church Czech Choir vocalist and cantor for twenty years, eine Bisschen Deutsch, especially loves performing the traditional German songs O Tannenbaum and Stille Nacht. In appreciation of the rich traditions of her Czech and German roots, Ruth notes: “Could there ever be a more perfect continuum between the past and present than the blending of Christmas and music? In whatever language, in whatever time, it is glorious!”
Mieko Mahi opened the Hallet Oak Gallery in 2015 with the help of Dr. Edwards and numerous area supporters. Featuring both local and internationally acclaimed artists, the Gallery and its supporters seek to foster art appreciation in the community, to work with young people through the school curriculum, to offer leisure learning opportunities for senior citizens and students, and to expose visitors to the local talents and flavors of this region.
Famed architect James Reily Gordon (1863-1937) designed the Kahn & Stanzel Building, which expresses Italianate, Neo-Grec, and Romanesque Revival architectural styles. Measuring 30 x 91 feet, with cast iron thresholds stamped Kahn & Stanzel, it is light and airy by day and exudes the glow of antique street lamps by night. With a view of the historic courthouse outside and the pleasing ambiance of colorful art inside, the building offers a unique venue for business, educational and entertainment needs. For more information and to sublease, visit www.halletoakgallery.com or call 361-217-7030.
–Lois Weiss, Contributing writer to the arts –