An e-zine for happenings of local culture in Milwaukee and elsewhere

Fashion

Who’s Making, Up Market, MOCT

MOCTupmarket

Football dominates Sunday afternoons, especially in Packer country and especially when the hometown favorite makes mince meat morsels out of ancient rivals Chicago Bears. MOCT on Pittsburg has taken a different approach to Sunday funday, mixing an afternoon of sports and indy commerce. They’ve huddled with Wren Solares’ creative start-up Lost In Milwaukee to give a winter home to Solares’ venture the Sunday Up Market. The first installment of Up Market popped this past Sunday, scheduled to cycle in crafty inventories on alternating Sundays through the Spring of 2013.

Accommodating a couple of fists full of vendors, the Up Market gave opportunity to venerable makers-of-things of varying materials including Butterscotch Baby’s full line of Total Body Experience products, felted accessories by Jan Falk, repurposed and original nit designs by Zen Dragonfly, couture from BVEN Boutique on Brady, and some serious iron work from Historic Preservation Award winner Milwaukee Blacksmith Inc. Sunday Up Market’s selection of wares and accessories gave a swath of interpretations on winter favorites like hats, scarves, wrist warmers and some really nice mittens, and all season items like jewelry and resale vintage fashion from other sellers as well.

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As craft and art fairs become vogue, mainstay outlets like WSME’s Buy Local Bazaar, Art vs Craft and Made in Milwaukee need company, its getting to the place where there are just not enough booths to go around. Even more intriguing, MOCT has the ability to host this event on a regular basis with a nearly ideal atmosphere for a local shopping experience: urban chic and niche. Once spring breaks, Solares, collaborating with the Walker’s Point Association and Alderman Perez, plans to move the venue of Sunday Up Market to an outdoor space that will accommodate 200 vendors. The Sunday Up Market spring kick-off is scheduled for May 5, 2013.

Even though the next Up Market is a month out, you may still have time to strike a deal with some of the vendors before Christmas by contacting them directly, online or by appointment. The next Sunday Up Market is January 20, 2013 at MOCT. You’ll find more information on the market and vending opportunities on Sunday Up Market’s website.

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Local Trolley 2011 Honors!

Oh yeah it’s 2012! That means it’s time to quickly look back at 2011 before speeding off into the night of the New Year. I’ve been blogging for about 3 years now, and the new year also brings us closer to Local Trolley’s one year anniversary! Before I go on posting, I want to acknowledge my most popular posts from 2011. Even though I don’t know how I will honor my most popular post subjects, I still want to give them the desserts they deserve!

Here are the five Local Trolley topics receiving the most page views in 2011!

#5 Vision Noir, Ryan Laessig, Milwaukee Alt (posted August 19, 2011)
Meeting Ryan Laessig was an unexpected jolt of freshness. A photographer and avid re-branded clothing maker, Laessig taps into the alternative fashion scene with a couple of location based themes titled Milwaukee Alt. and Capital Alt..

Laessig published a book photography this past summer entitled Milwaukee Alt. featuring men and women’s fashion styles and aesthetics. His efforts engage sexuality, seductiveness and pleasure, hanging out in area between tasteful and taboo.

#4 Breaking Beats Down, Miltown Beat Down Rd. 1 (posted May 12, 2011)
Generating much hype over the past 5 years or so the Miltown Beat Down has provided and outlet for not just aspiring rappers but music producers. The past three years the Miltown Beat Down has featured music producers exclusively. In 2011 hip-hip producer Reason took the title, on the precipices of one of 2011’s top underground collaborations UniFi Records’ release Know Flight Zone with Dana Coppa.

The Miltown Beat Down featured a lot of other independent efforts like Audio Pilot, Sam Winters, Luxi, Mark V, and White Russian, and approximately 36 other talented hip-hop musicians.  DJ Madhatter and Kid Cut Up, two hip-hop mainstays in Milwaukee (minus Kid Cut Up now who left Milwaukee to spread his wings this past fall) mastered the ceremonies last year, no telling what in store this year. In the wake of Andrew Tyler’s murder, the only thing the hip-hop community can do is keep striving for higher ground and efforts like the Miltown Beat Down humbly keep the culture ascending.

#3 Making the Mold, Northern Chocolate Co. (posted April 8, 2011)
Filling a need to associate people we know with established type cast, takes a little bit from Jim Fetzer‘s natural mystique. None the less people seek his chocolate desperately and I definitely noticed that as the winter holidays approached, views of my post on Northern Chocolate Company trickled up.

He’s an alum of the old Ambrosia chocolate factory workforce and has kept busy making chocolate on Martin Luther King Drive well before urban renewal took hold in Brewer’s Hill. If you made a Milwaukee Pabst-Can-list, tearing-off and devouring the head of one Northern Chocolate Co‘s famous chocolate bunnies would settle in the top ten must-do’s.

#2 Talent transplant: Riverwest a Rhapsody! (posted March 12, 2011)
Riverwest, ah Riverwest. Some love it, some get broken by it, some thrive in its rubbery stew. Riverwest is kind of like Milwaukee’s City of the Lost Children and playwright Eric Theis wound his experiences there into a theatrical ditty entitled Riverwest: A Rhapsody!.

Ironically, Theis produced his musical in Madison at Broom Street Theater. Despite the play’s, geographical limitations, Theis masterfully transformed his Madisonian cast into a band of gypsies worthy of a inhabiting a Polish flat on Weil Street.

Fearless of difficult topics, Theis’s other projects include an original script about the Reconstruction Era South titled The Temples of Nadir. Crafting intelligent, poignant and nuanced dramatic prose, Eric Theis falls into the category of extremely talented young risk-taking writers to support.

#1 Pt. 2, Art Opulence, Mike Maegestro (posted September 1, 2011)
On a very indiscript late summer day in August, an art show gracing several store fronts in the Plankington Arcade section of the Grand Avenue Mall had just underwhelmed me. Having heard about another lightly promoted art show, I decided why not check it out, I never go to Avenues West.

Milwaukee artist Brittany Farina pulled a few fellow artists together for one of the more unsung event of 2011, an art night at the Brumder Mansion. One of the artists, Mike Magaestro, strung together a tremendous series of paintings centering on the most difficult subject matter to make interesting: flowers. He’s nearly a landmark unto himself in the Milwaukee design world, it seems that visual arts just add to the proficiencies that Magaestro nimbly executes.

Congrats Mike on being Local Trolley’s #1 post for 2011!


Art vs Craft 2011, MSOE Wehr Center

Over the weekend Art vs. Craft happened. Art, Craft, some might say who gives a damn. Could you just boil it down to that? This event is in its 8th year and it keeps growing. Well, you could do some boiling and you would probably be shopping regularly at Bay Shore Mall Towne Mall and Mall too.

Founder of Art vs. Craft Faythe Levine is the patron saint of Milwaukee’s DIY fervor, and gets a big high-five-oops-miss-ha-ha for nurturing the movement here. A couple of winters ago, she and Amy Heimerl released a global view documentary about making stuff called Handmade Nation (actually one of the first happenings I ever blogged was a write-up of the film premier in Milwaukee).

So after missing Art vs. Craft last year and the years before that, I finally got a chance to go. The full listing of vendors is here on Art vs. Craft’s website. All of Art vs. Craft‘s vendors were personally invited to participate. It’s mostly comes down to taste, and everyone had something good to offer. Here are a few that I really enjoyed.

Why @LocalTrolley Checked-Out:
Kristopher Pollard Illustrations and Portraits
Megan Lee Designs
Delia Sophia’s Handmade Cutting Boards
Speakeasy Pens and Gifts
Bureau of Print Research and Design
Just Seeds


Megan Lee Designs, Art vs Craft 2011

Megan Lee is not from Milwaukee, then again who is these days (it’s not like it’s a bad thing). Most of all I like her regional outlook. You can be cool in Iowa wearing a shirt with Ohio, Wisconsin or a mini-boxer pug dog on it. Megan Lee’s designs are hand illustrated with sharp and round corners, with multiple sizes for all shapes! St. Nick… getting it!? (Although I think the guy in the Ohio shirt is getting stung by a bee, and liking it)

Click Pict for Megan’s store… and her story, super cool!!!

Why @LocalTrolley Checked-Out:
Art vs Craft 2011, MSOE Wehr Center
Kristopher Pollard Illustrations and Portraits
Megan Lee Designs
Delia Sophia’s Handmade Cutting Boards
Speakeasy Pens and Gifts
Bureau of Print Research and Design
Just Seeds


Just Seeds, Art vs Craft 2011

Just Seeds’ sharp pop taste is very near the status of a global mainstay. Socially conscious and smart, I always enjoy their work. They even have a installation at the new Villard Avenue Branch of the Milwaukee Public Library.

Do I really need to mention their prints make great additions to most any wall space?

Click the cool Just Seed sticker picts to see their work…

Why @LocalTrolley Checked-Out:
Art vs Craft 2011, MSOE Wehr Center
Kristopher Pollard Illustrations and Portraits
Megan Lee Designs
Delia Sophia’s Handmade Cutting Boards
Speakeasy Pens and Gifts
Bureau of Print Research and Design
Just Seeds