Start your (affordable) art collection — June 16, 2018

Because the walls of your apartment aren't going to decorate themselves.

Visitors peruse the offerings at Art for the Cash Poor

Visitors peruse the offerings at Art for the Cash Poor (Photo courtesy of InLiquid Art and Design, art by Laura K. Murdoch).

Art for the Cash Poor
June 16, noon – 6 p.m.
10th Street between Buttonwood and Hamilton, near Union Transfer
Free entry

Are you an art lover with a small(ish) paycheck? This weekend, own it proudly at InLiquid’s free annual block party, Art for the Cash Poor, where everything for sale is an original, locally handmade piece priced under $199.

Phoenixville artist and teacher Gillian Pokalo, who’s been selling at AFTCP for 10 years, calls it “my favorite show in the world.”

Over the last decade, many outdoor art festivals have flourished in the Philly area, but AFTCP (now celebrating 19 years) “feels different than other shows,” Pokalo says, because everything for sale is made by participating artists. InLiquid curators guarantee a unique, high-quality selection — ranging from ceramics, paintings, and illustrations to jewelry, books, and even bird houses — from emerging and established artists.

“Every show looks totally fresh,” Pokalo adds. Each year, she creates work specifically for the fair, and enjoys reconnecting with collectors of her art as well as meeting first-time browsers and buyers.

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Courtesy of Gillian Pokalo

Pokalo, a Conshohocken native, has shown throughout the greater Philadelphia area since graduating from Moore College of Art and Design in 2005. Her style combines original photography, printmaking, painting, and an ancient technique of applying melted wax to canvas. She researches old bridges and abandoned industrial sites — and treks to photograph them. She’s fascinated by the stuff we leave behind: “What does it say about who we are?” She’s one of more than 80 artists selling their work this weekend.

AFTCP usually happens in the Fishtown/Kensington neighborhood, but just for this year, it’s coming to the emerging Spring Arts district in Callowhill, on 10th Street between Buttonwood and Hamilton, near Union Transfer.

The festival’s usual site is under construction. But moving AFTCP 2018 to Callowhill (in partnership with Arts + Crafts Holdings) is also a “catalyst” for expansion as InLiquid approaches its 20th anniversary, according to executive director Rachel Zimmerman.

She says InLiquid is “working with more community partners this year to activate and breathe life into this new space … and inviting new audiences to be art collectors.”

That’s what Pokalo loves. AFTCP fights the stereotypes of the starving artist and the elite millionaire collector. Attendees “are people who just really value art and want it in their homes. It allows everyone to believe that they can be a collector. Art doesn’t have to be sold through galleries.”

Thursday at 6 p.m, there’s a kick-off party at Love City Brewing featuring a first look at available artwork, with tickets benefiting the AIDS Fund.

The main event (free and open to the public) is Saturday from noon to 6 p.m. There’ll be plenty of food trucks and live music along the way. If Dad likes art, bring him along and kick off Father’s Day in the Love City Brewing Company tent, on Buttonwood, or the Trestle Inn pop-up garden on Hamilton Street, serving spirits, wine, and beer.

This article is part of a new effort recommending things to do in the Philly region. Tell us what you think.

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