Bali to Bala founder and artist Laura Cohn at work

Friday at 11 a.m., the former Magarity Ford show room at 8200 Germantown Ave. was officially transformed into a Southeast Asian arts and culture bazaar featuring original artwork and handcrafts.

From Bali to Bala, an annual cultural event conceived by Bala Cynwyd artist Laura Cohn , will take place from Nov. 26 to Dec. 5. It will be open daily from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., 12 to 5 p.m. on Sunday.

According to the Bali to Bala website, the marketplace features “a large collection of Indonesian handcrafts and treasures, fabric and sarongs, exotic masks and carvings, silver and jewelry, puppets, tableware, instruments, children’s toys, garden sculptures, unusual baskets, boxes and bowls, and much more – all on sale in time for the holidays.”

The website also promises good prices: “In these economically challenging times, the items in her collection are very affordable as she buys directly from the local artisans.”

The showroom floor at From Bali to Bala.

Cohn, who describes herself as a traditional Batik artist, started the event 10 years ago to share her love of Indonesian culture with her neighbors in the Philadelphia area.

From the Bali to Bala website: “Taken together, these diverse activities will allow visitors to learn more about an exciting and distant land, as well as enable them meet new people from throughout the Philadelphia region,” Cohn said. “It will be a unique cultural experience, all in one convenient venue.”

In addition to the marketplace, From Bala to Bali will feature several key culture events.

Saturday, Nov. 27 Opening Night Party featuring dance performance by Indonesian Cultural Club
Tuesday, Nov. 30, Indonesian Movie Night
Friday, Dec. 3, First Friday Celebration
Saturday, Dec. 4, Chestnut Hill Holiday House Tour
Tuesday, Dec. 6, Children’s Indonesian Dance Class

This marks the first time the event has been in Chestnut Hill. On using the space, which is owned by Bowman Properties, Cohn had this to say:

“I’m glad I can bring new life to this former auto showroom, which has been vacant for years. With its big windows and high ceilings, it is a perfect setting for the show.”

The purpose of Bali to Bala is about more than just Indonesian arts and exotic gift choices. Cohn donates a portion of the proceeds from sales at the event to a different Indonesian charity. This year, the show will donate to charities helping Indonesians recover from a recent earthquake, tsunami and volcanic eruption.

For more information, visit the Bali to Bala website.
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