Arts of the Pamlico hosts arts market

Published 7:36 pm Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Arts of the Pamlico has entered into the arts market.

For a second month, the halls of the Turnage Theatre in downtown Washington will be lined with vendors: jewelry makers, ceramic artists, photographers, quilters and more. The Saturday Art Market is slated for this Saturday, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., and is a chance for shoppers to do some holiday gift-getting. It’s also a chance up-and-coming and unrepresented artists don’t get too often.

“The actual idea started form a couple of artists who aren’t located in a gallery and don’t have a place to show their work,” said Thad Aley, the Saturday Art Market coordinator. “We decided this was a good platform to have local artists and craftspeople show their work to the public. We’re giving that opportunity to be able to show their stuff and maybe make some sales and get started.”

Aley compared the event to a farmer’s market, but indoors and with art and music that comes courtesy of the Beaufort County Traditional Music Association’s Saturday morning jam.

“They’re lined up down the hall. You can come in; there’s all these vendors and music. It’s kind of a nice atmosphere,” Aley said.

It’s also another opportunity for Arts of the Pamlico to branch out and reach a wider audience, which has been a focus of the arts organization for the past several years.

“I think the big thing is that we’re trying to expand the vision of Arts of the Pamlico to not just to be the artists on the wall but the up-and-coming artists. It’s not just for people here for a movie or the theater, but people who didn’t think that Arts of the Pamlico was for them. It is,” Aley said.

In the same fashion, AOP has broadened its range of exhibits, including art forms that some might not even think are art forms, such as the Pamlico River Quilters Guild exhibit that’s on display at the Turnage Theatre through the month of December.

“That’s what we’re trying to show: that art comes in many forms, and it’s done by anybody, from a young child to a grandmother who’s quilting,” Aley said.

The first Saturday Art Market in November drew nine vendors and a bit of foot traffic. Ceramic artist Carolyn Sleeper was one of those vendors.

“It was great fun last time,” Sleeper said.

Though known for her whimsical pieces that range from elaborate bird houses to freestanding, long-legged metal and ceramic birds, Sleeper is using the market to sell past work: personalized ceramic Christmas ornaments that she is no longer making. As a result, she can sell the ceramic candy canes, trees, angels, fish and more at a lower price, as well as a few other items, including her handcrafted mugs inscribed with the word “Breathe” sales of which are a fundraiser to help pay for costs surrounding son Joe’s double-lung transplant.

Aley said the Saturday Art Market is currently planned to run one Saturday a month for the next six months. Included in the event is the AOP table which will host a craft for visiting children — another part of the effort to inspire art in everyone.

“That’s why we always have a kids table, because it might spark an interest in art. That might be a doodle now, but in a few years, it could be a masterpiece,” Aley said.

Arts of the Pamlico’s Turnage Theatre is located at 150 W. Main St. in Washington.