DJ Sean Owens mixes beats. (Photography by Katherine Vandervalk, ’16)
The Vend + Vibes Marketplace put the cool wares of local artists and entrepreneurs on display.
Between sips of Greenline Coffee apple cider, I snapped pictures of the DJ across the room. While there were so many diverse artists and entrepreneurs at Vends + Vibes: An Arts Marketplace, one word could describe the whole scene: cool. Run through the Arts Incubator in Washington Park, Vends + Vibes was a one-day boutique winter marketplace that featured goods from local artists. On December 7, the Arts Incubator was filled with artisanal products, such as wallets made from UChicago campus maps and organic vegan chocolate truffles.
[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_original","fid":"2323","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image","height":"362","typeof":"foaf:Image","width":"460"}}]] Rebirth Poetry Ensemble, a high school performance troupe based out of the Logan Center for the Arts. (Photography by Katherine Vandervalk, ’16)
Walking into the Arts Incubator, I was greeted by one of the members of the Rebirth Poetry Ensemble, a high school slam poetry performance group, who invited me into their Poetry Café, where they were selling poems as Christmas gifts. Buyers could choose between pre-written haiku and acrostic poems, or a poem written on the spot especially for the buyer.
[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_original","fid":"2324","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image","height":"362","typeof":"foaf:Image","width":"460"}}]] (Undercover) Popular’s display. (Photography by Katherine Vandervalk, ’16)
One of the coolest displays was from (Undercover) Popular, a company that uses repurposed objects to make handbags. The whole display is beautiful, but two purses in particular caught my eye. On the far left is a bright blue purse decorated with a small piece of linoleum and a carpet sample (see it up close on Etsy). The second purse, shown in the close up below, is accented using bits and pieces of a basketball.
[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_original","fid":"2330","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image","height":"362","typeof":"foaf:Image","width":"460"}}]] A handbag detailed using a repurposed basketball, from (Undercover) Popular. (Photography by Katherine Vandervalk, ’16)
The next booth I went to belonged to Inside the Artist’s Kitchen, a blog that investigates the relationship between art and food. The company was selling hand towels and promoting their website, where they post recipes and interview artists about what they like to create and what they like to eat. As I was leaving the boutique, I noticed a sketch on the chalkboard wall. It was a map of a block in the Washington Park neighborhood, with the caption, “What SHOULD be happening in this corner?” The Arts Incubator, since its opening in winter 2013, has started to define what should be happening on the corner of Garfield and Prairie. Vends + Vibes was a great place for artists to promote their work, and a fun event for the University and Washington Park communities alike. I bought my mom a handmade necklace for Christmas, and there was cider and coffee for everyone. Here are more pictures of some of the local artists’ and entrepreneurs’ displays:
[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_original","fid":"2331","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image","height":"362","typeof":"foaf:Image","width":"460"}}]] Hand towels on display at the booth of Inside the Artist’s Kitchen. (Photography by Katherine Vandervalk, ’16)
[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_original","fid":"2332","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image","height":"362","typeof":"foaf:Image","width":"460"}}]] Ornaments by Marie Vanek made from real leaves and botanicals preserved in gold, silver, and copper. (Photography by Katherine Vandervalk, ’16)
[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_original","fid":"2333","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image","height":"362","typeof":"foaf:Image","width":"460"}}]] Accessories from K-Fleye. (Photography by Katherine Vandervalk, ’16)
[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_original","fid":"2334","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image","height":"362","typeof":"foaf:Image","width":"460"}}]] Inspirational posters from Kennedy Prints. (Photography by Katherine Vandervalk, ’16)
[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_original","fid":"2335","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image","height":"362","typeof":"foaf:Image","width":"460"}}]] Earrings from Faith Jewelry Designs. (Photography by Katherine Vandervalk, ’16)
[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_original","fid":"2336","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image","height":"362","typeof":"foaf:Image","width":"460"}}]] Knitted goods from Soul Hippie. (Photography by Katherine Vandervalk, ’16)