The Muscatine Art Center is raising funds and helping people decorate for the holidays with their Heartfelt & Handmade Ornament Competition.

The competition is back for the first time since 2019. Local and regional artists and crafters created unique ornaments to enter in the contest. Ornament sales benefit the Friends of the Muscatine Art Center and its educational programs at the Art Center.

All entries for the ornament competition are on display now at the Art Center, 1314 Mulberry Avenue. The public gets its first opportunity to buy them during the Holiday Open House on December 7th, starting at 5 p.m. Ornaments will be on display for sale, along with live music and hors d’oeuvres.

Tickets to the Holiday Open House are available at the Art Center and there’s a discount for buying on or before December 1st. Tickets can also be purchased at the door. The ticket price includes a glass of wine or beer. The Center’s hours are Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Thursday evenings until 7 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from 1- 5 p.m.

Mayor Brad Bark, City Administrator Carol Webb, and Tony Loconsole, Director of Communications & Community Engagement for the Muscatine Community School District, were the judges for the contest. Kristy Cox was awarded first place with a paper quilling ornament. Gracie Cook took second place with a tree made from button blanks. Marie Latta took third place with her knitted goldfinch. The People’s Choice Award is still open for voting. Visitors to the Muscatine Art Center can vote for their favorite through December 1st.

“We are thrilled to bring the Ornament Competition back,” says Melanie Alexander, Director of the Muscatine Art Center. “It is such a delight to unpack the handmade ornaments crafted by local people. This year, there is a little bit of everything from stained glass and felted wool to LEGO minifigures and fairy gardens.”

The handmade ornaments are available for purchase on a first-come, first-served basis. The public can buy the remaining ornaments after the open house.

For more information on the Muscatine Art Center, click here.