Like Etsy, Only Live

. May 1, 2014.
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Stroll past hand-crafted balaclavas and psychedelic checkbook covers. Watch the sun stream through geometric circles and rectangles of jewel-colored glass. Refresh with a slice of wood-fired pizza while live musicians jam in the background. Discover a new artist before the Art Fair crush.

With over 60 vendors, Kerrytown’s Sunday Artisan Market has become “quite the destination,” according to Khadijah Kolleck, Market Manager. And she and her team would love to expand even more. There’s an ongoing call for vendors of both art and food, with a jury to ensure consistent high quality and diversity in the market’s offerings.

Alongside more traditional oil painters and woodworkers, Daren Otis, designer of bright, floral tote bags, has sold at the market since its inception in 1991. In recent years, visitors have been able to find more and more etsy-esque vendors, who operate actual etsy stores. Sarah Marie of Little Schremlin craft shop is one of them. She creates awesome geek humor-inspired items–her words–from paper and mixed media. “Right now I’m really into copper accessories… I’m also in love with Coptic binding and am currently working on fresh notebook designs for summer.” Other offerings range from the Japanese calligraphy and digital-inspired art of Michael Nagara to Nick Shank’s vintage-look, hand-painted signs to Tina Novoth’s modern take on stained glass for Bello Art Works. Some artists make art right there in the market, offering patrons a look at their different processes.

Each Sunday also brings a special event, often highlighting a particular category of artist, such as jewelry, fibre, metal or photography. Kolleb is particularly excited about May 4. “I’m currently teaching a focus study at Ann Arbor Open School,” she says. “They’re working on art projects, but also learning about the whole business side: costs and profits, how to market and distribute. The students will be disbursed throughout the market selling things that they’ve created themselves.” Another event, June’s Go Green and Go Local, highlights how the Market extends locavorism to shopping for households goods and art.

For many, the Market serves as a mini, more local, more manageable version of Art Fair. “We’re like everyday art fair, or every Sunday, anyway,” says Kolleb. “Art Fair ends on Saturday, and we’ll be right here the next day. We like to give a platform to emerging artists who may not be quite ready for the scale of Art Fair.” More food vendors are plying their trade these days as well, with food carts,  artisan pizza, and Zingerman’s offerings on deck for 2014.

Sarah Marie offers a direct challenge: “Take a break from that Dr. Who marathon, slap on some SPF 50, and come see me at the market!”

Join Sarah and her fellow artisans any Sunday of
the month through mid-December. The Sunday Artisan Market, 315 Detroit Street, Ann Arbor. 734-913-9622.
Sunday, 11-4 p.m. artisanmarket.org

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