Courtesy of Kathy Halper
74 Evanston-based artists sold merchandise ranging from pearl necklaces to illustrated cards two parking spaces apart in the Maple Street multi-storey car park as part of the second annual Maker & # 39; s Market, hosted by nonprofit Evanston Made.
To ensure social distancing at the October 18 event, attendees had to reserve time slots in advance and were only allowed to shop for half an hour each. Evanston Made executive director Lisa Degliantoni said she was initially unsure whether she would host the event but feedback from local artists proved its importance and resulted in a socially distant market.
"(The motivation) came from the vendors asking that we do something to help them sell in an environment where many of them haven't sold their goods in a long time," she said.
Degliantoni founded Evanston Made in 2012 after moving to Evanston and realizing that there was no organization connecting citizens with local creatives. Last year the organization set up Maker's Market to create a "super casual, fun shopping environment," said Degliantoni. Local vendors and multiple stalls taught people how to make various handicrafts.
Although this year's market served the same purpose, Evanston Made created COVID-19 security protocols that should be followed by vendors and buyers. Sellers were only allowed to use contactless payment methods, elevators were frequently disinfected, and hand sanitizer and masks were provided.
Evan Finamore, board member of Maker & # 39; s Market, said the market has taken a much more "controlled" stance this year than in the busy environment of years before.
While enjoying last year's vibe, Finamore said she was hoping the event would keep her personality.
"Everything is different so it's just a different thing that needs to be orchestrated differently," said Finamore.
For vendors, the market was also an opportunity to showcase pieces made during the pandemic.
The eco and botanist Baz Cumberbatch presented a new mixed media series inspired by the beauty of Lake Michigan. Using only natural materials like bamboo and coconut, Cumberbatch created illustrations and miniature models of sailing boats.
"Put it on the lake or in a pond while the water and wind blow (and) it moves like a normal sailboat," said Cumberbatch.
The photographer and graphic artist Socorro Muciño also presented works based on the local landscape with her new project “Looking Up”. The series consists of various photographs of Evanston trees and serves as a "spiritual" experience that Muciño hopes will inspire people to look forward to a better time.
Vendors also said they viewed the market as a safe way to connect with the community.
Urban Prairie Design's Paul Segedin makes furniture from locally sourced copper tubing and wood and has mostly been doing commissions recently. Even so, he entered the market to connect with his hometown.
"It will be fun to be out there with other artists," he said before the event.
At the market, Segedin presented candle holders made of wood and copper, cutting boards and several small sculptures that he had made from wire and wood.
Despite the difficulties many residents face, Deligantoni said she continues to be grateful for the local commitment.
"The silver lining from COVID has been that people are ready to support Evanston's creative community," Deligiantoni said.
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