INTERVIEW WITH SHOW PRODUCER MARLENE LONEY

faq_01Professionalism in both the event and the artisans. We know life is busy, so we work hard to make sure the time spent at Art Market is positive and rewarding. A relaxing Christmas decor, friendly staff, an on site restaurant, and never a line at the door. Art Market is a Christmas tradition where Calgarians get together with friends and family to purchase fine art and craft and meet the interesting artisans.

The artisans have been carefully screened for quality and variety. Every vendor will be offering something special and different. Many have spent years perfecting their craft. The difference in a mug created by a new artisan vending at the local school craft sale and a mug created by the experienced artisans of Art Market is obvious. Most of our artisans are travelling across Canada to showcase their work at events such as Art Market. They stop in Calgary for just four days.

I do whatever it takes to bring a collection of diverse, creative individuals under one roof and tell Calgarians about it! I see myself as the catalyst that unites creative artisans with creative consumers. The consumers that support Art Market are those shopping outside of the box and looking for something special.

faq_02In terms of the goods offered for sale there is always change. In the early days, we saw lots of wooden toys, silk scarves and sewing-based crafts and simple pottery. Pottery now comes in so many different styles and colours; each artisan is truly one of a kind. Fashion is a big part of our show along with jewellery. Home decor, from sculpture and original paintings to acrylic and metal timepieces, is also a growing area. Artisan displays have seen a huge evolution. Each space is a mini-store front or boutique creating a visually exciting shopping experience.

Another trend we have noticed is an ever-increasing standard of craftsmanship. Art Market is a beautiful show that just keeps getting better. That is due to the high demand of consumers for finely crafted items. We have also noticed buying handcrafted, hand-made and supporting artisans directly is now in fashion.

Not at all! Items range from $5.00 to $5000.00. There are inexpensive hand-made ornaments, candles, bookmarks and picture frames all the way to fine fashion, jewellery, sculpture and painting. Every item is made with integrity and is unique. Beyond price, the value is outstanding. The handcrafted gifts you give today will be the heirlooms and antiques of tomorrow.

Quite simply, art and craft enrich our lives. It adds colour, texture and pleasure to the ordinary. Artisans add the human element, ‘someone made this with care and attention.’ A mug is a mug, but one purchased at a craft sale is unique, hand-painted, comes with the story of the artisan, or perhaps the memory of a day spent with friends. It is the gifts that we have received that are hand-made that we treasure the most. When you wrap cold hands around a handcrafted mug, it just may also warm your heart.