Rumor Has It
Of Art and Artists:
Wednesday, December 4, 2019
Often when we talk about the time during a musician’s life that is not devoted to music, we are speaking about their day job, the thing they must do in order to suffer for their art.
Turns out, many local musicians are using their time away from their instruments and practice spaces to suffer for art that is not of the musical variety, and this time of year, with its holiday markets, craft fairs and buy-local messaging, serves as a reminder of that fact.
Nowhere is that more front and center than at Make.Shift’s annual Make.Sale, which this year takes place Dec. 6-7 at their Flora Street space, with additional Make.Salers posting up at Cafe Velo, Icing on the Cake, and Runaway Press. Many of the nonprofit’s tenants will be selling their creative wares, and you’ll recognize several of them from some of your favorite local bands. Craft fairs are among the many things in life that I hate for no reason and I have yet to walk out of the Make.Sale empty-handed. I still regret the handmade bag I didn’t buy the year former Make.Shift Executive Director Cat Sieh had a booth at the sale.
Speaking of artists with booths at the Make.Sale, Kelly Hoekema, who a lot of folks recognize from her ongoing tenure in the Vaticunts, will have a very busy weekend. She’ll sling her paintings at Make.Shift on Friday and Saturday, before trekking across town to the Shakedown on Sunday, where she’ll teach another in her series of adult art classes along the theme of “Bad Movie Posters for Bad Artists.” When Hoekema began this educational odyssey, I wasn’t quite sure she’d be able to marshal an entire classroom of squirrely adults into creating coherent works of art in one sitting, but the proof was in the paintings—when she was through with them, each of her students took home a canvas worth putting on display. The class costs $25 (probably not much more than the cost of materials) and last I checked, tickets were still available, and choices of subject matter (you’ll understand when you sign up) ranged from Satan to Pennywise, only one of which is nightmare fuel for me, and—spoiler alert—it isn’t the Prince of Darkness.
Also on the Make.Sale roster is Gold Status Botanicals, aka Amy Gibson aka the singer/songwriter of a band I still long for, Bright Weapons. She makes all kinds of exotic and delightfully witchy-sounding things like tooth powder, cordials, dry shampoo, tinctures, teas and elixirs in small batches and with great love. She gifted me a jar of beautiful and delicious nettle sesame salt for my last birthday that I use sparingly and hoard all to myself despite its generous size and the vastness of my salt collection (we don’t need to talk about it). Her unusual and thoughtfully packaged products can be found at Bellingham Handmade, and I don’t think I’m out of line when I say they’d make lovely, impressive gifts. Tis the season to gift local.