Tuesday, February 5, 2013
If you go
The Fresh Squeezed Art Market runs from 2 to 8 p.m. Saturday at Dead Leaf Designs, 1739 Walnut St. in the Crossroads Arts District of Kansas City, Mo.
High-end fine art isn’t for all artists. It’s not for all patrons’ pocketbooks, either.
That in mind, a dozen primarily under-the-radar artists are planning an event that combines fresh, original artistic designs with practical items and approachable-sized — and priced — canvasses.
The Fresh Squeezed Art Market, featuring mostly Lawrence residents and Kansas University students or graduates, is set for 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday at Dead Leaf Designs, 1739 Walnut St. in the Crossroads Arts District of Kansas City, Mo.
“I wanted to do something that was more functional than fine arts,” said organizer Scott Burr, a Lawrence resident who works full time at Blue Collar Press and has a sculpture degree from KU but is trying to develop and sell children’s toys and items in his original designs (think cartoon-like animals and robots).
Calling the event “Fresh Squeezed” seemed to fit the artists and their work, Burr said.
Most of the artists are emerging, and some are hoping to launch new projects. The work they’ll be selling is overwhelmingly bright, colorful and whimsical.
Burr said he hoped the market would provide artists an opportunity for visibility and face-to-face interaction with patrons. It’s also hoped to provide shoppers with unique gifts, which may come in handy the weekend before Valentine’s Day. Activities including screen-printing demonstrations, wax printmaking and coloring pages for kids also are planned.
While there will be some paintings and drawings, those are primarily smaller in size and affordably priced, Burr said. Many of the featured items, however, are useful for more than decoration. Among those are plush toys shaped in Burr’s own bird designs, cartoon sushi magnets from Lawrence artist Crystal Hammerschmidt, and baby onesies and tea towels from Normal Human screen print shop of Mission.
Maggie’s Farm CSA members may have seen Hammerschmidt’s work before, in the form of illustrations and kids activity sheets sent out with recipes in CSA boxes last summer.
Hammerschmidt, who has a degree in printmaking and works at the farm in addition to another job, said food provides important inspiration for her work, which has evolved from gallery-style work such as paintings to more practical, functional pieces such as the magnets and aprons.
Artist Tyler Snell, of Lawrence, who also works full time and does art on the side, plans to feature some paintings, screen-printed posters and smaller items such as hand-painted magnets in the Fresh Squeezed Art Market.
He said gallery shows can be high-pressure and require a large body of work or a big reputation, which isn’t always feasible for an on-the-side artist.
“Since I finished school, I haven’t had much time or opportunity to pursue art as fervently as I did,” Snell said. “I still like to do it ... as a hobby.”
Another artist, Leah Hoelscher of Lawrence, specializes in printing digital patterns onto fabric, as well as hand-printing fabric. On Saturday, she’ll be selling tote bags, tank tops, coasters and Valentine’s cards.
Hoelscher doesn’t currently have products for sale online or in stores. But she plans to launch her own business this spring and hopes the upcoming market will be a good place to get feedback.
“For me it’s a good way to test out some of my designs and see if they appeal to the public,” she said. She added that shoppers can expect products, from her and other artists, “that are more fun and quirky, that you wouldn’t necessarily find in a store.”