Arti Gras 2023 Sneak Peeks Begin at The 109 Cultural Exchange


Salt Valley Arts offered sneak peeks of their Arti Gras 2023 fundraiser this weekend at The 109 Cultural Exchange in downtown Saline. This year’s theme is Inspiration Framed. The official fundraiser will be held on April 23, but guests can preview the event on Saturday, April 8 and Saturday, April 15 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Michigan Avenue location.

“We’re really excited to have it here at the 109,” said Karen Losey, one of the Salt Valley Arts organizers. “People do such diverse work and this was their inspiration. We have a lot of different kinds of artists. You never know who we’re going to get.”

One example is a felted wool sweater crafted by artist Nancy Miller. Miller coordinates the community mitten project that sells and donates handmade mittens to Saline Area Social Services.

“The mitten project is very popular. Nancy does that in the winter. She calls it the dark months,” Losey said.

On April 23, guests are invited to visit Salt Valley Arts at 400 Russell Street, entrance A, where the show will begin at 1 p.m., with the silent auction beginning at 1:30 p.m. Visitors can bid on over thirty original photography-inspired works of art. Refreshments will be provided.

Pat McGinn is a new member at Salt Valley Arts and a first-time participant in Arti Gras.

“ I like to sew, and I like things that are made out of wool felt. When we picked the picture, we could pick out a photograph that we liked.”

McGinn was drawn to a photograph of red buttons as the springboard to her fiber art piece.

“I thought about when we went to France 12 years ago, when we were in Normandy, and we saw these fields of red poppies. So that kind of inspired me. The poppies and the buttons. I thought I would make my picture a field of poppies.”

McGinn has enjoyed her time spent with the creative individuals at Salt Valley Arts.

“I have a business where I sew for interior designers. I make window treatments and pillows. I started doing some wool felting a couple of years ago, and that kind of inspired me,” McGinn said.

McGinn and Losey both participate in a group called Cake Eaters that meets every Friday to work on projects and share inspiration.

“Cake Eaters is a lot of fun. It’s a way to come in and see what Salt Valley Arts is all about,” Losey said.

For more information on Arti Gras 2023, visit

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