Ridgefield Guild of Artists reimagines Festive Home fundraiser for 2021

RIDGEFIELD — The gallery space at the Ridgefield Guild of Artists is undergoing a transformation just in time for the holidays.

Starting Nov. 19, the guild will serve as an “eclectic emporium” filled with home accents, artwork, furniture and hand-crafted and hand-selected gift items, which will be available for purchase as part of its 16th annual Festive Home fundraiser.

“The pop-up ... is always much anticipated here in town and around Fairfield County,” guild President Mary Pat Devine said.

“It’s a go-to place to shop for unique gifts (with) a huge eclectic mix of stuff for sale,” added Executive Director Pam Stoddart.

The event was canceled in 2020 amid COVID-19 but was reimagined for 2021. In past years local designers would curate an eight-foot section of the gallery reflecting their styles and tastes; this year the layout is being completely dictated by the guild’s Festive Home committee.

And while the process may be different, the concept remains the same: displaying home settings that utilize art as part of the decor. This year, Housatonic Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore is helping to furnish these settings. The Danbury-based thrift warehouse accepts furniture, home goods, building materials and other supplies from corporate and community donors to sell to customers at a discounted rate.

“With this year’s Festive Home we are making an effort to re-use, repurpose, recycle and upcycle whatever we can, all while inspiring a creative and special holiday season,” Devine said.

The showcase was a work in progress when Hearst Connecticut Media visited this week. Pastel-toned ornaments glistened on a silver-topped table, and colorful canvases sporting winter scenes waited patiently to be hung on the walls. Walking through the gallery is akin to visiting different people’s homes, as each room evokes its own character.

Perhaps the most eye-catching display is the Christmas tree wall in the lobby, which features a floor-to-ceiling faux green fir trimmed to the nines with rainbow-hued ornaments. Stoddart envisions the backdrop as the perfect destination for people to take their holiday Instagram photos this season.

Festive House opens with a special preview day on Friday, Nov. 19 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.; admission is $20 at the door. From Nov. 20 through Dec. 19, the emporium will be open to the public for free Wednesday to Sunday between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. It will be closed Nov. 22-25 for Thanksgiving, but will reopen on Nov. 26.

Contributing artists receive a commission on any of their purchased items, with a portion of the proceeds also benefiting the guild. Stoddart said of all their annual fundraisers, this is the biggest one.

“It’s obviously a great place to do your holiday shopping because you’re supporting local artists,” she added. “We’ve had so many more (volunteers) this year … and everybody is so excited.”

For more information about Festive Home 2021, visit rgoa.org.