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Artists return to San Mateo County History Museum for annual ART on the Square Holiday Show

On Saturday, for the first time in two years, more than twenty artists will gather inside the San Mateo County History Museum for the annual ART on the Square Holiday Show and craft fair.

On Saturday, for the first time in two years, more than twenty artists will gather inside the San Mateo County History Museum for the annual ART on the Square Holiday Show and craft fair. 

The free-to-attend event, which is celebrating its 6th year, will run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Masks are required to enter, and all participating artists are fully vaccinated.

“We wanted to make it a really safe shopping environment for people,” said Beth Mostovoy, co-founder of ART on the Square and chair of ARTS RWC, a local roundtable of artists and advocates.

Twenty-one artists will be selling everything from crocheted pouches to glass lamps and leather book covers under the museum’s historic stained-glass dome. Mostovoy, a photographer, will be selling an assortment of her own matted and framed prints, featuring photos from around the world, including a whole Redwood City series. A complete list of the artists and their wares can be found here.

According to Mostovoy, though this is their 6th anniversary at the museum, ART on the Square is celebrating 15 years of bringing art to the city. And after a year of staying inside and not attending shows, she said artists were jumping at the opportunity to participate. She thinks this is one of their best artist line-ups yet.

“In terms of finding gifts for people that are outside of the norm or the mass-produced things, this is really the place to come to,” she said.

After last year’s show, which was held virtually due to the pandemic, Mostovoy and her fellow founding members, including Jodi Paley and Julie Goodenough, are excited to reunite in person—and inside the museum no less. For the first time, patrons will be invited into the museum itself and will be allowed to explore the exhibits as well.

“There's a lot of people who come in and say, ‘God, I've lived in Redwood City for 20 years and I've never been here.’ Or, ‘I've lived here all my life and I really never come in,’” she said. “I think the History Museum in and of itself is awesome. And then to have that be part of the show for people to come in and see that for the first time, it’s also pretty special.”

While previous years have seen upwards of 700 patrons, for Mostovoy, success isn’t about the numbers.

“The best compliment for me is when someone tells me that something that they bought, either for themselves or for somebody else, really made that person happy,” she said.

“People really didn't do much for the holidays last year either in terms of shopping,” she added. “I just think that people are excited and happy to reclaim parts of their lives that were on hold for so long. And that's why I think the show will be successful.”