When you shop at a chain store you know what you’re going to get.
Wal-Mart: Assaulted by non-union blue vest wearing associates.
Best Buy: Ogled by shiftless Geek Squad ne’er-do-wells in the laptop computer aisle.
But when you shop at a festival amidst a sea of pop-up tents, awash in an ocean of folding tables, you are entering the retail heart of darkness, devoid of “civilized” check-out counters, debit-card keypads, and foofy anti-theft detectors. You are roughing it, and I love roughing it, by George!
With the help of Everett Staten, head of Everett & Associates, the company producing the Arts & Crafts Marketplace at this year’s West Oak Lane Jazz & Arts Festival, I have sketched out a map of this retail unknown, this magical undiscovered country, which will appear for only three days this weekend.
Here are five craftsmen in this temporary marketplace who may tickle your shopping fancy.
Visual artist Sidney Carter has been painting professionally for over 20 years. He comes to Philadelphia from Powder Springs, Georgia in order to showcase his work which touches on a number of styles including cubism, abstraction and still life. Carter will be painting on site.
2. Eugene Perry
Perry is a metal art sculptor. Born in Liberia, he immigrated to the US at the age of 10 and grew up in West Philadelphia. This Overbrook High School graduate will have a number of modern art sculptures on display.
Timbuktu produces hand wrought sterling silver jewelry set with exotic stones. They’ll have a variety of original rings, necklaces, bracelets, cuffs and more for sale.
4. Matthews Hats
Matthews Hats is a purveyor of handcrafted hats out of New York City, featuring hats for all occasions.
5. Vivian Bennett Designs
Bennett is a New York based designer who produces jewelry from recycled materials. Her sustainable approach to design informs the artistry of her work.
The West Oak Lane Jazz Festival is a free arts and music event and runs Friday through Sunday between the 7100 and 7400 block of Ogontz Avenue. Click here for the official website.
Erica David’s blog, Mom&Popaholic, will launch soon on NewsWorks.