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Maribeth Haire, owner of Square Arts, is ready, with her companion Curtis, to greet guests during Sunday’s Garden Club Christmas Tour. The Panolian photo by Rita Howell
Square Arts welcomes guests Sunday

By Rita Howell

Along with the three families hosting stops on the Batesville Garden Club’s Christmas Tour of Homes Sunday, business owner Maribeth Haire will open the doors of Square Arts.
The unique business, open since April, celebrates the work of Mississippi artists and offers the opportunity for anyone to try their hand at painting, under the instruction of “artist-in-residence” Karen Patterson.

In a 1920’s-era store space adjacent to her husband Billy Haire’s medical practice on the Square, Maribeth has created a shop that is part art gallery and part artist’s studio. You can buy a painting or piece of pottery by a Magnolia State artist, or you can attend a paint party and create your own art.

“We do birthday parties, family sessions and girls’ night out,” Maribeth explained.

For Sunday’s tour from 1-5, several vendors will be on hand to talk about their work. Artist Jean Bennett, graphic designer Angela Clanton and author Margaret Eubanks are among those who expect to greet guests.

In all, Square Arts carries the work of 25-30 Mississippi artists and authors, and specialty food products from the Mid-South region.

The environment at Square Arts, Maribeth says, is focused on continuing the arts and cultural heritage that has long been a part of the history of Mississippi.

And especially at this season, with young artists in the studio turning out hand-made Christmas ornaments and gifts for mom, the culture of art appears alive and well in Batesville.

The Garden Club Christmas Tour includes the homes of Clint Fisher, 111 Hillcrest; and neighbors Thomas and Sharon Hodge, 423 Trantham Road, and Smith and Carole Murphey, 302 Trantham Road. Square Arts is located at 139 Public Square.

Tickets are $10 each and are available at each tour stop. Call 934-2951 for information.

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