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August 21, 2017 1:21 PM

Visions Art Gallery

If you’re looking for chintzy, mass-produced art that’s available everywhere, this isn’t your shopping destination. Try a truck stop or one of those factory outlets right near the truck stop.

At Visions Art Gallery on the Makanda boardwalk, the only objects you’ll find here are one-of-a-kind creations by actual, Makanda-area artists and nobody else.

Nothing against universal art. Mainstream merchandise has its place. But truly local art defines us. It’s what reveals our local culture. And Nina Kovar maintains this gallery for local artists specifically to show off the unique influences of this rural, mid-American spot on Earth. It’s why framed photographs of ancient, local petroglyphs hang on the walls , right beside modern necklaces and inspired jewelry crafted with local stones. Local ceramic artists make bowls and platters according to their own vision, not corporate templates. Local glassblowers produce goblets and vases nobody else makes. Local weavers and textile artists thread playful handbags and scarves while leather crafters make textured hats, ornamented wallets and other one-of-a-kind things. More than 100 local artists are represented at Visions. Also, art that’s useful and ready-to-be-utilized, such as lathe-turned bowls and keepsake boxes made from local and reclaimed wood, can be found here. Original paintings inspired by local landscapes and abstract imagination hang on the walls. A wealth of locally crafted jewelry featuring original designs dangle and sparkle in Kovar’s display cases.

If you’re looking for something not made by local artists, you’re out of luck here. But you’ll be glad you found this place after all. You’ll see.

Nina Kovar