Artists make connections at Evergreen craft fair

Artists from The Evergreen State College’s student body, staff, alumni, and the Olympia community came together on the campus to sell their creations, share their techniques and opinions, and to inspire one another.

Dean Hobbs and Alex Jones, both SPSCC students, sold salvaged and recycled material notebooks from the Olympia Workers Livelihood Collective, a non-hierarchical collective that constructs and sells supplies for equal share between all workers, at the fair.

“I would say that [the fair] is great. I think it’s a success, too, because people are selling their stuff, which is buying local,” Hobbs said.

Over 50 booths sold homemade statues, jewelry, paintings, lotions, and other original creations. The fair also featured a clothing swap, a student art gallery, and a community mural project to which artists and buyers could contribute.

Unique items sold at the fair included Lego earrings, hemp jewelry, underwater photography, and “found item” compositions – art made with supplies found in the artist’s surroundings rather than from a store.

Colored-pencil artist and jeweler Anna Marie Lassman said, “It’s really exciting to see everyone else’s work. It’s also really awesome to get interactions from other artists about your art, because sometimes when you’re doing your art you get stuck in it…and it’s good to see that other people really like it too.”

Most found the connections they made with other people in their community to be the best part of the fair.

“It’s really great to see everyone, to be on campus, to see what they’re working on,” said artist Camille Lindsey-Larabee.

Evergreen College Activities Building Coordinator and one of the main organizers of the fair Kailan Tyler-Babkirk said, “The most important part is really connecting the community of artists and just the Evergreen community in general…A lot of collaboration has been happening, a lot of sharing of skills, even some trading of art, which is really inspirational to see.”

Fair attendees could also try their own hand at painting with the community mural project. The mural, with the student-chosen theme “Breaking down Barriers,” will be on display on Evergreen’s campus permanently after completion.

The fair also showcased performing arts. Acts included the Evergreen-based belly dancing troupe Tribesque and Olympian string band The Blackberry Bushes as the closers.

This Evergreen arts and crafts fair is only the second in history, and according to many Evergreen students, it is definitely growing.

“I think we have established a tradition,” said Babkirk.

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