Heartful Giving

by Kathryn Kleekamp

Like a fine work of art that reveals more and more upon closer inspection, a look at Sandwich Artisans divulges a most intriguing group.

Taking over the reins of what was originally known as The Sandwich Arts and Crafts Association, Sandwich Artisans carry on a tradition that has been going on for or over 60 years. Bearing the torch well, the local group was chosen as the "2011 Business of the Year" by the Sandwich Chamber of Commerce. A primary reason being that all vendor fees are dedicated to the Sandwich Public Library for youth and children art programming. Last year the group donated $6,000.

A volunteer board consisting of seven individuals organizes several juried outdoor shows during the summer months on the lawns of the Sandwich Public Library. Local artisans including jewelers, woodworkers, fine artists, glassmakers, calligraphers, potters, photographers and fabric artists – just a small sampling of the 25 or so vendors who participate in each show.

Board member and jeweler Janet Gauland, one of the founders of the reorganized group relates, "When we moved to the Cape, I was delighted to find an organization that presents well-organized and juried shows and also helps the community."

Janet adds, "I'm also pleased we're able to provide the same opportunity for other new artists to show their work."

While the public may only see Janet's unique jewelry made from beads, rare stones and even buttons, her professional career is in Information Technology, working for a major computer manufacturer. Janet explains, "Making jewelry is my passion. It's relaxing and offers balance to the mental work of my normal job."

To be sure, peeling back the layers of this group further, one discovers that while many of the members have had busy careers, they are now following their lifelong passions: a retired microbiologist exhibits and sells fine art, a former drug store manager sells locally made jams and a retired automotive mechanic creates and sells soy candles.

Several vendors who were laid off from regular employment have made the switch and now embrace their interest in creating art full-time. One of these is photographer Sandi Smith, formerly employed as a computer troubleshooter for an insurance company. Her stunning images are of the "simple things in life" – a baby's hand, a starfish gently washed by incoming tide, or an exquisite floral bloom.

Not one to participate in shows run by promoters, Sandi relates, "I'm thrilled to be part of this show that supports a good cause. Sandwich is near and dear to my heart." She adds, "For me, it's not about the money, it's about doing good, meeting people, making friends."

Gay Hughes and her charming "mobile tea shoppe" can be found at just about every show. With as varied a career as anyone might enjoy, Gay has worked as a licensed rehabilitation counselor, in financial services, and now works for the city of Wayland.

Her lifelong passion with tea goes back to her childhood in Cheshire, Connecticut. "We'd usually go to my grandparents' home for Sunday dinner. My grandfather was British, and after dinner my grandmother would set out her beautiful silver tea set with a tray of petit fours and homemade meringues. I loved the formality and the special way it made me feel."

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Sandwich Artisans hold outdoor juried shows to support art programs for youth and children at Sandwich Public Library

Throughout her life Gay has always found a way to celebrate with tea, for many years organizing tea parties for private and non-profit groups. Now she shares her vast experience and love of tea with all who chance to visit her display at Sandwich Artisan Shows. "I enjoy coming to the beautiful village of Sandwich. It's wonderful to meet visitors from all over the world and I also enjoy the camaraderie of other vendors."

John Callahan spent many years as an automotive mechanic prior to his new venture creating and selling soy candles. A back injury and need to care for elderly parents required him to leave the business.

Embracing the "green" movement, he says he "liked the idea of making a pure natural product that would appeal to many." John enjoys keeping up with customers who come back year after year to stock up on his candles.

Indeed, one of the unique things about Sandwich Artisan shows is that the creator of the particular art or craft must be present at the show. Visitors can chat with the artist, learn about the process of creating the item, and generally save money by buying directly.

All for a good cause.

The 2012 Sandwich Artisan shows will be held on the following Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the lawns of the Sandwich Public Library.

July 7
August 4
September 1
October 6


Kathryn Kleekamp

Kathryn Kleekamp is a retired microbiologist who started painting and writing after she retired to Cape Cod in 1997.

Her oil paintings are in collections throughout the U.S. as well as abroad.

Her book, Cape Cod and the Islands ~ Where Beauty and History Meet, is available at all local bookstores or you may order a personalized copy directly from Kathryn at: