Karen McChesney’s Santas are pampered, and deservedly so. Each one created by the longtime Ridgefield resident, artist, and Curator of Exhibitions at KTM&HC, has its own personality and no two ever look alike. Mrs. McChesney – who many residents might know as a beloved art teacher in the Ridgefield elementary school system for 20 years – labors for months before the holidays, crafting nearly every detail of the coveted figures.
This year, four such Santas will be available for sale exclusively at the Keeler Tavern Museum & History Center Holiday Boutique beginning December 10, 2019. The Holiday Boutique runs Tuesday through Saturday, December 10 – 14 from 10:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. and Sunday, December 15 from 1 to 4 p.m.
Mrs. McChesney began making Santas with a friend, Cynthia, in 1989 as part of Santas, Etc. a business the two women operated. Together until about 2010, they sold their handmade creations at craft shows in and around the area.
"These Santas are most certainly a labor of love," said Mrs. McChesney recently. “Even our husbands made bases and special-request items and transported the figures into show venues in good weather and bad.”
After her friend retired, Mrs. McChesney downsized the business and began making fewer of the figures in her studio at home. Her late husband continued to assist as well, often cutting berries or branches to adorn the dolls. Today, Mrs. McChesney handcrafts the Santas to sell locally with fond memories of her friend and husband. KTM&HC is honored to be the sole recipient of these iconic pieces this year. Be sure to stop by the KTM&HC Holiday Boutique beginning December 10 through December 15 for a chance to purchase one of your own.
For additional information about KTM&HC Holiday Boutique, and our full list of our other exciting holiday events, visit http://www.keelertavernmuseum.org/events.