By Kissa Castañeda
Now that the “ber months” are here, expect bazaars to become ubiquitous as it does each year.
A requisite glance at Rockwell’s billboard along EDSA shows the variety of themed bazaars—from purely fashion fairs to ones that benefit a certain cause.
Its temporary nature is one of the draws. We know by now that something available only for a limited period makes it all the more enticing, a fact proven by sites like Gilt, Groupon, and all its permutations.
While formulaic fashion and food fairs have become a staple in Manila’s retail landscape, there are those that defy convention and reinvent the concept—one such event is the Alabama Art Fair.
First held last April, it brings together various artists, craftsmen and designers selling artwork and accessories not found in run-of-the-mill bazaars.
A criterion that separates them from the crowd: all items have to be handmade.
“We’ve had about 12 participants, mostly first timers who have never sold artworks anywhere so it was a great experience for them,” said Leah Bautista, organizer and part owner of Resurrection Furniture and Found Objects Gallery.
This weekend, the organizers have culled Etsy-worthy works to sell, added live music to the mix, and are excited to introduce a new feature called the art exchange.
It’s as simple as it sounds: you bring your artwork and find someone willing to swap with you. Essentially, it’s a barter trade of art.
Aside from the fair and the art exchange, new visitors to 10A Alabama will be wowed by what’s in the venue itself: hand-crafted interior décor from Resurrection Furniture and Found Objects Gallery, a peek into the eclectic and personal art space of Robert Alejandro called RAW, and the sublimely styled Hausbezetser Tea Laboratory handled by Jetro Rafael of Van Gogh is Bipolar.
So while it ticks all the boxes of what makes a traditional bazaar—limited sale time, unique finds, festive marketplace feel—this art fair is not only different but has a higher purpose: “To foster a community of artists and crafts people and give them a venue to show what they do.”
Let’s shop to that.
The Handmade Art Fair is on September 3 and 4, 2011 from 12 noon to 7 PM at 10A Alabama Street, Quezon City.
Those interested in joining the next bazaar can e-mail photos of their works to email@example.com.
Kissa Castañeda blogs at http://curiouscities.wordpress.com/
Photos: Charles Buenconsejo