The Creative Alliance Merry Mart lived up to its name this year. Held at the historic Patterson Theatre, the vendors who showcased their work were imaginative and professional. Now, a holiday art/craft market veteran I was able to peruse the offerings with ease, and I was happily surprised that I had already seen only a handful of the vendors in my holiday art show rounds. Jill Popowich's beautiful handcrafted metal jewelry was my first stop. Tigerlilly, another brand I was familiar with, had an amazing selection of the preserved nature pieces in metals like silver and copper. I especially loved the delicate double acorn pieces in copper.
Fisticuffs had a plethora of natural reclaimed leather cuffs and wristbands with etched and embroidered detailing. They were displayed, smartly, on horizontal bars aligned on standing folding racks and organized in descending size order, making the pieces extremely easy to browse through and find the perfect Fisticuff.
Tasha McKelvey had some adorable handmade ceramic pieces, my favorite were the gnome magnets and tiny jewelry trays with toadstools.
Elisa Shere also showcased her eco-friendly recycled silver jewelry designs alongside her husband’s handmade notebooks and sketchpads.
However, my standout at this year’s Merry Mart was artist Matt Muirhead’s HeadSpace work. His paintings and prints are so vivid and fun, and made on mixed media (wood, cardstock paper, etc.). I really loved the cozy chair screen-print on painted wood, in grey, black and hot pink. Almost ready to purchase, I realized I was low on cash and there weren’t any ATMs on sight, so instead I settled for one of his greeting cards (very cheeky!). The artist told me his store just opened on the Avenue in Hampden (720 W 36th St.), open Fridays and Saturdays … I will definitely be making a visit this weekend. —Jessica Hargest, intern