The Hippo


Dec 7, 2019








Kitty Stoykovich. Kelly Sennott photo.

Gone shopping

Where I went: The Manchester Arts Market  
The experience: It was a sunny day; some of the tent vendors were still setting up shop, but the majority were ready to go, their items organized neatly under individual bright white tents facing the stage. (That night it would host the Houston Bernard Band, but at the time, crew members were still testing mikes and performing sound checks.) 
A kettle corn vendor sat at one end of the park, which you could smell from the other. Elm Street was pretty crowded that day. People were all over the streets, getting out of work or participating in the Manchester Open Doors trolley tour. 
Though there was still an hour before the music would start, there were already crowds trickling to the lawn, folding chairs and blankets in tow.
One of the things I enjoy most about these kinds of markets is talking to the maker — how do you learn, for instance, that the perfect material for a beach tote is actually recycled grocery bags? How does one come to decide to make a drinking chocolate cup or a bright purple baby moccasin, and what’s the process like doing it? It gives the items a story, and it makes what you buy more personal.
Coolest cheap thing: A keychain made from crocheted plastic bags made by Kathi Rienstra, a.k.a., CraftyKathi ($4).
Coolest more expensive thing: A pourover coffee maker made by ceramic artist Lori Rollason ($30). It’s pretty, plus pourover coffee tastes better than what I can make in my Mr. Coffee drip brew machine. Win-win.
Outdoor arts shopping this week
Concord Arts Market: Every Saturday from Aug. 15 through Oct. 3, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at 1 Bicentennial Square, Concord,
Manchester Arts Market: Thursday, Aug. 20, and Thursday, Aug. 27, from 6 p.m. to sundown at Veterans Park, Manchester; after the markets on those two days, there will be screenings of Finding Nemo and The Lego Movie respectively.
On the Green 2 Arts & Crafts Festival: Under a tent at Brewster Academy, 80 Academy Drive, Route 20, Wolfeboro, 528-4014, Friday, Aug. 14, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Saturday, Aug. 15, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Sunday, Aug. 16, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., featuring more than 80 artists who make jewelry, wearable art, wooden crafts, quilts, quilted home decor, etc.,
White Mountain Art & Artisan Festival: Saturday, Aug. 15, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday, Aug. 16, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., at Jackson Village Park, juried show with work by more than 40 artists. Sculpture, glass, wood arts, ceramics, fiber arts, fine arts, jewelry, etc.

Out for the Arts
Unique finds at outdoor arts markets

By Kelly Sennott

Katy Solsky started the downtown Concord Arts Market in 2008 to fill a void; New Hampshire artists, including herself, were traveling far and wide out of state to sell work they’d been slaving over all winter, and it just didn’t make sense.

Now in its eighth season, the market has become a mainstay in Concord, starting earlier than ever this summer in mid-May and continuing Saturdays through September. After finding little traffic at the Claremont and Dover Arts Markets, which she established in 2013, Solsky decided to try her luck in Manchester this year, partnering with Intown Manchester and timing it so the market occurs at the same time as the summer music/film series and Manchester Farmers Market, Thursdays starting at 6 p.m.
Kitty Stoykovich, who regularly sells at the Concord Arts Market, recently displayed under her tent at the Manchester Arts Market a variety of silver jewelry, like rings and necklaces, earrings and bracelets. One tent over, Kathi Rienstra crocheted a bag — out of grocery bags. 
“They are waterproof, and they’re very strong, definitely beach-friendly,” she said.
Rienstra said she learned the craft from her grandmother. She snips the handles and the ends, then strings the loops together and rolls it up like a ball of yarn. When she crochets, she uses a small hook, which is time-consuming but ensures sturdiness.
Kristen Page, another Granite State Arts Market regular, sells headbands and baby clothes made from organic fabric. She’s been sewing commercially since 2009 but became focused on kid-wear when she had her daughter in 2013. Her favorite items are her yellow, pink, blue, green, purple and white baby moccasins. 
“I do a lot of research, trying to find striking fabrics that don’t have that boring organic look, because sometimes when you think organic, sometimes you think of browns and earth tones,” she said. “And while those aren’t bad, it’s nice to have a variety. … I try to keep on top of what’s trendy in baby clothes. What is Kim Kardashian’s kid wearing? Even if you’re not a fan of her, she’s a fan of fashion, and a lot of times, what her kid is wearing is really cute.” (The moccasins, for instance, resemble those made by a company called Freshly Picked, which cost about $60 a pair.)
Lots of people go to the market for handmade, organic items — or maybe upcycled items, like Rienstra’s — but it’s also a place to find novelty goodies you didn’t even know you needed, like Lori Rollason’s “Revolution Breakfast” collection, which includes all the breakfast accessories you could ever need, from ceramic hard-boiled egg holders and pourover coffee makers to espresso and drinking chocolate mugs, which were made in her Manchester studio and fired at Studio 550 down the street.
Lots of the artists said they participated in other events; Page was at Broke: The Affordable Arts Fair in Peterborough last spring and at Concord’s Giftopolis in the winter. Though she had done well at the market two weeks prior, Stoykovich said business in Manchester wasn’t yet as heavy as in Concord on Saturdays, but she has faith.
 “It takes a little while for things to catch on,” Stoykovich said. “You have to participate, you have to show up, and eventually people will say, ‘Oh, OK, I remember this now, I’ll remember to bring money next time.’” 
As seen in the August 13, 2015 issue of the Hippo.

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