This article was published in The Appalachian.
Pottery, jewelry, clothing, paintings, sculptures, tapestries, quilts, raw foods, pet toys and more will be sold Sunday, March 27, at the third semiannual Boone Handmade Market.
The market, which is hosted by Appalachian State University’s Art Management Association (AMA) will run from 1 to 5 p.m. at the Turchin Center for the Visual Arts.
This is the 3rd handmade market to take place in the Turchin Center since AMA started the event in 2010. Originally, the market was planned as an annual event, but due to the tremendous popularity of the first market, the members of AMA decided to hold a market each semester. Between 700 and 1,000 people attended the spring 2010 market and 1,500 people attended the fall 2010 market, AMA Special Events Chair Payton A. Brown said.
Brown, senior apparel design and merchandising major, said the market was founded to raise money for AMA and continues to serve as the club’s main fundraiser.
The market was Brown’s creation, one she dreamt up after visiting handmade markets in Charlotte and realizing how well the concept would translate to the mountains.
“Boone is such an artsy town with so much rich craft culture,” Brown said.
She added that “people choose Boone for a reason,” and many people in the area either make art or appreciate it.
Along with catering to the local interest in art, Brown and other members of AMA hoped to assist student and professional artists with their careers. While the market does serve as a fundraiser for the club, AMA doesn’t receive any percentage of the vendors’ profits – which are considerable, with 70 vendors bringing in a combined $7,000 during the fall 2010 market. Instead, the club’s profits come from a booth fee: $50 or $25 for professionals and $40 or $20 for students.
Several artists involved said the Handmade Markets have been a valuable experience.
Lynne Townsend, who has sold her framed landscape photography at all three markets, said she’s been impressed each time with AMA’s organization and professionalism.
“I sell at several festivals in the High Country and this one, by far, has the most helpful group of people,” Townsend said.
Nathan P. Fields, who has sold his functional stoneware pottery at each market, agreed.
“It’s by far the most enjoyable show I do all year,” he said.
Fields added that sales from the market are instrumental in his ability to keep making art.
“Making pottery really is loads of fun. If you want to keep having fun, you’re going to have to sell some of it. Every time I sell a pot I think, cool, now I can sell another one,” he said.
The handmade markets also inspire connections between local artists. Chelsea A. Brendle, a junior art education, art history and studio art major, sold handmade clocks at the first handmade market in spring 2010. She met a local couple who were interested in her clocks, and who turned out to be building gallery space in their home. Later, the couple e-mailed Brendle saying her clocks had inspired the installation they opened their gallery with, which involved distributing blank records to their friends and family to decorate.
“They invited me to the event and it was just amazing to see all the wonderful work. I felt so inspired to have been a part of it,” Brendle said.
Although art management is a major in the College of Fine and Performing Arts, Brown pointed out, the Art Management Association is open to anyone interested in art. The club meets on the first and third Thursday of each month, at 7:30 p.m. in the Turchin Center. Sign-up sheets will be available at Sunday’s handmade market.