A smorgasbord of makers will fill Zen Dragonfly’s 3rd Annual Last Ditch Effort. Created by local fashion designer Angela Smith, Zen Dragonfly carries a suite of skirt and dress designs derived from re-purposed fabrics, along with hats, knit tams and beanies and other hand sewn accessories.
Every year she teams up with other local artists and crafts people to have a year-end vendor market. This year the Last Ditch effort will convene at the Body and Soul Healing and Arts Center in Sherman Park’s Good Shepard Lutheran Church on 48th and Roosevelt Boulevard.
Past vendors at the Last Ditch Effort included bookbinders, visual artists, screen printers, jewelery artists, natural soaps and beauty products. In a stroke of luck for sweet teeth, several local bakers will also be in residence to help you spoil your appetite a little early, with a variety of tantalizing goodies.
The Last Ditch Effort will go down on Saturday December 21, 2013 from 12:00p to 6:00p at Good Shepard Lutheran Church, 3617 N. 48th Street. Like the Zen Dragonfly page for the latest updates on this event.
Alternative fashion photographer Ryan Laessig and visual artist Amanda Iglinski formed the design house Bubbler Studios this past year. They’ve melded their highly conceptual creative forces to launch Milrawkee Alt as an ode to traditional science fiction culture and our favorite hometown Milwaukee.
In a series of original comic illustration-style paintings they capture superbly absurd scenes like King Kong romping on the Intercontinental Hotel, martians nuking the USBank building and the Kraken munching on the Calatrava. These are available in print and refridgerator magnets.
A second set of graphically illustrated prints lets Milrawkeeans get super local by expressing their neighborhood pride in series of Star Wars themed portraits. Infamous likenesses from mostly the Darkside of the Force paired with the Milwaukee ‘hood name enscribed in Star Wars-esque typeface can help geek out your walls.
Laessig and Iglinski also have their own individual contemporary artworks worth exploring. Check them out in person at Bubbler Studios in the Hide House or online at the Milwaukee Alt site.
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.
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.
People trickle in and out of Orcanine Abbey‘s most recent open studio, checking out Rachel Sutter-Smith‘s set of provocative illustrations depicting personages both fantastic and realistic; conceivably a few self-portraits delving into the depths of her own inner most spaces. A dude listlessly sits in an a brown high back chair waiting for what’s next.
A handful of unheroic but reasonably cool looking kids have exuded a practical chemistry that usually can being felt among good friends. In good spirits, they enjoy the stellar performance of two piece band Pepe le Moko warming up the jerry-rigged stage. Episodically creepy yet blissful strumming done, these reasonably cool kids Sally, Sam, John and Lars that happen to be from Worcester, Ma, take up musical arms and crank up some major throwback post hoc garage/art rock mania as Secret Lover.
Under a dim oozing red light, the front woman calls out “Poison Ivy”, her cue to her band mates to let the gear rip into a raucous fury that soon animates the listless dude to his feet for a better vantage point. Not playing nice, the drum lead (Sam) crashes his symbol to the floor several times, and the guitarist (John) snaps two guitar strings banging out riffs for Sally‘s volcanic pipes to drift upon heralding exuberant tributes to life and youth, with Lars consistently throbbing the low end. Seriously smashing.
Secret Lover @ Orcanine Abbey, Milwaukee, WI, July 8, 2012
The Dumb Over, Orcanine Alley, http://wp.me/p1hPwN-1iM
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