Gifts of Art

When still living in Fort Wayne in the early 1990s, Lisa Vetter and her husband Paul Siefert decided around the holidays to gather local artists who had no place to sell their work to people looking for unique and special gifts.

“There wasn’t stuff like that happening then like there is now, so we set up a pop-up gallery at our home at Lawton Place so local artists had somewhere to sell their stuff for the holidays,” said Vetter.

Over 10 years ago, the couple left the big city for a quieter country life, buying a farmhouse in Spencerville. They spent years fixing up the old farmhouse, eventually turning the adjacent structure into a studio where they could pursue their artistic visions. That home and studio are now known simply as The Art Farm, and in the studio a collection of artists from around the country can be found each December at the Holiday poP Up Gallery.

“We don’t just feature local artists anymore since there are so many places for artists to sell their work, so we bring in regional artists from different areas to sell their stuff for holiday gift giving. I make sure that we have ceramic, glass, fiber, print and mixed media. I try not to repeat the same artists year after year so we bring together new things every year,” said Vetter.

Vetter and Siefert travel to around 20 art fairs a year: some in Fort Wayne and Indiana, others in regional states like Michigan and Ohio and even some as far away as North Carolina and Florida. Along the way, Vetter checks out what other artists are doing and keeps them in mind for the holiday show.

Aside from taking part in the Rural Artist Studio Tour every May, the Annual Holiday poP Up Gallery is the only time The Art Farm is open to the public. Among the collection of artists represented are of course the Farm’s owners, both of whom have been using recycled and repurposed goods to create everything from jewelry and keychains to lamps and other household gems. It’s been a gradual evolution for Vetter, one which deeply connects with her worldview and her approach to art and living.

“I’ve moved into repurposed material in the last seven or eight years. I used to do a lot more with wire and beads, but I started moving more toward integrating material in found objects, tin especially, and creating my own shapes and pieces. It’s meant less buying of material,” she said, “but I still have tons of beads, so I need to start playing with those again.”

The Art Farm Holiday poP Up Gallery, Opening reception December 1, 5 pm – 10 pm; open December 2 – 30, Wednesdays – Sundays from noon – 6 pm, 17612 N. County Line Road E, Spencerville, 260.740.8745, artfarmindiana.com


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