For the first time since the pandemic began, the MICA Art Market will return for the holiday shopping season as a two-day pop-up.
On Dec. 3 and 4, Maryland Institute College of Art students, faculty, alumni and staff will showcase and sell their art in the Brown Center on W. Mount Royal Avenue, the school announced Wednesday. About 220 vendors will sell scarves, handmade knitwear, stickers, jewelry, ceramics, posters, prints, paintings, clothing and more, Art Market manager Sarah Barnes said.
There will also be a bed-sized quilt up for raffle, Barnes said, and the proceeds will go to help fund material fees for students of color.
Barnes, who was part of a team of MICA staff and faculty that founded the market around 15 years ago, said she’s excited the event is back.
“It’s just a great opportunity to support young people and to support the MICA art community,” Barnes said. “I feel like we support Baltimore by being a thriving art community and this is our first opportunity to do so since 2019. Without an audience, it’s hard to be an artist, in a way, so it’s really awesome to be able to put our work back out there.”
The market is an opportunity for students to “dip their toes” into the experience of selling their work, and to help them “decide if they want to be makers, if they want to go the wholesale route, or maybe they don’t want to deal with customers, or maybe they really love it and they have a real flair for selling work,” she said.
With artists from different generations selling their work, students in past years were able to talk with alumni and learn how they were making it as artists after graduation, Barnes said. A couple of alumni have even asked students to work for them or to become interns, she said.
This year, she said, a couple things will change from previous years. The market will be two days instead of four. And while some vendors will be there both Saturday and Sunday, others will switch so there will be new vendors each day. Instead of using a shared cash register, this year each vendor will individually accept payments.
A portion of the funds raised will go the MICA Endowment Student Scholarship, according to the release.
Vendors said they’re excited for the event to return.
Tzippora Lasdun, an embroidery artist who graduated from MICA in 2015, said she will sell some hand-embroidered pieces at this year’s market.
Lasdun’s work centers around feminist themes. “So you’ll see a lot of uteri or uteruses,” she said. “A lot of feminist-themed quotes, like Ruth Bader Ginsburg quotes, things like that.”
Women’s health, women’s rights as well LGBTQ rights have always been important to Lasdun, she said.
“And there was a certain point at which I was like, I really want to make art that reflects my values,” she said. “I want to make work that reflects who I am as a person and what I believe in.”
Lasdun particularly appreciates the art market because it is “the one place where I absolutely know that people will appreciate even the quirkiest of my work,” she said. “You have so many students and teachers and alumni who get it ... who appreciate what it is I’m trying to say with my work, and it’s just something I really love about MICA and the community.”
Another vendor, Rachel Kotkin, who graduated from MICA in 2015 with a master’s degree in teaching, said she’ll fly in from Seattle to sell her art and see friends in Baltimore.
Kotkin said she creates “my own drawings and paintings and prints, and then I cut it up and rearrange it into a collage that’s usually abstract.”
Kotkin then photographs her collages and gets them printed digitally on silk to make scarves. On each scarf is one distinct collage, “where the photo is kind of cropped and repeated over and over again,” she said. “It’s almost like it’s re-collaged,” she added.
This is Kotkin’s first year participating in the market as a vendor.
“I’m just excited to be a part of the MICA community again,” she said.
Admission is free to the public and the market will open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. each weekend day.