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Thursday, Sept. 9, 2010 10:16 am

ART MART ONLINE

Springfield is full of artists, from brilliant painters to inspiring sculptors and everything in between. Pop into the Prairie Art Alliance exhibit at the Hoogland Center for the Arts, for example, and you’ll be greeted by numerous skillfully crafted works – all for sale by local artists. It makes sense that to find local artists, you would go to local art exhibits, but there’s another, more unconventional venue for local art that may not have crossed your mind: the Internet.

The popular art marketplace Etsy.com claims to give hundreds of thousands of artists in 150 countries a place to sell their handmade crafts to the global market, but the website also helps connect artists with their own communities through a “Shop local” feature that lets users type in their location and find nearby artists. A recent search for “Springfield, IL” turned up paintings, photographs, jewelry, shoes, handbags, soap and glassware by more than 40 artists based here. The site lets users browse available goods and purchase them directly online. The site’s founder, Robert Kalin of Brooklyn, N.Y., calls it a place to find works of art “that are unique…something that doesn’t exist anywhere else in the world.” Check it out at http://tinyurl.com/25smpo4.
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