UICA hosts Holiday Artists’ market

Courtesy Photo / thecateringcompany.com
The Urban Institute of Arts

Courtesy photo

Courtesy Photo / thecateringcompany.com The Urban Institute of Arts

Cory Finkbeiner

Last Friday and Saturday, the Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts housed 47 creators in their Holiday Artists’ Market.

Emily Helmus is part of an art group called The Weaverbirds, winner of the 2011 Holiday Artists’ Market’s “Best in Show Award.” The all-girl group includes self-taught knitter Helmus, sock monster expert Rose Beer Horst, fiber-arts experimental Rachel McKay and moonlight seamstress Elizabeth VanStee.

The Weaverbirds captured the tone of the evening, artists coming together to share their work, turning Booth 43 into a communal space for artists and laymen.

Among the Weaverbird art were dolls, fiber art, embroidered illustrations and a “hot off the press” drawing of a pursed-lipped woman in a binding sweater titled “The Turtliest Neck.”

“Best in Show,” was not the only award handed out, however. Jarrod Napierkowski’s humble booth was one of the smallest tables, but this didn’t stop him from taking home the “Best Booth Display Award.”

Napierkowski works with various kinds of wood to create earrings. At his booth, his earrings were displayed in a white honeycomb structure, with his jewelry filling the hollowed circles.

“The idea came to me in a dream,” said Napierkowski, who is also a manager at Founder’s Brewing Company.

The “Most Original Work Award” went to Booth 40’s Rosemary Mifsud, who worked with recycled silver, ebony and Indian rosewood, among others. Her work focused on sustainability and story-telling.

Mifsud makes jewelry for recently- or soon-to-be engaged, couples, tailoring the rings to their specific type of relationship.

“I developed a process to learn about the couple,” Mifsud said. “It’s super personal.”

She makes booklets diagramming her process from start to finish, often including sketches from Mifsud and poetry from the customers.

“Sometimes we work by ourselves, but (the Weaverbirds) are a collection of individual works,” Helmus said. “We craft together a lot, and we have regular craft nights.”

The UICA’s Holiday Artists’ Market was a collection of artists from every part of the creative spectrum. There was jewelry, dolls, hats, ties and paintings from painters, musicians, professors and bartenders, but the concept was solid: community.

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