Maker’s Market to showcase local artwork and create an upcoming Maker’s Market community to build community and artist visibility

Courtesy of Lisa Degliantoni

A forum for artists and art lovers, Evanston’s first Maker’s Market of the year will take place this Sunday.

Local artists will open their car trunks to sell original artwork, jewelry and more for this year’s first Maker’s Market on May 1.

Vendors will set up on the fifth floor of the parking garage at 1800 Maple Avenue from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. There will be two more Maker’s Markets this year, on August 7 and October 2.

Lisa Degliantoni said she founded the non-profit organization Evanston Made eight years ago with the aim of creating a stronger sense of community among local artists. Four years later, she hosted the first annual Maker’s Market event, a place where artists were able to connect with the public.

Maker’s Market highlights the variety of art that Evanston has to offer, Degliantoni said.

“We have nine-year-olds making bath bombs, we have teenagers making handbags, we have retirees painting,” Degliantoni said. “The great diversity of manufacturers makes it a really fun and interesting day.”

Degliantoni described the Maker’s Market network as a “micro-community”. Preparing for each session strengthens the network of local artists by bringing together local artists, she said, while providing them with the opportunity to sell their wares.

“The general enthusiasm and the atmosphere are really great fun,” Degliantoni said. “People decorate their cars, bring music, snacks, and everyone goes and watches. It’s not competitive. It’s a celebration of the community.

Degliantoni said this sense of community stands in stark contrast to her experience with Evanston’s art scene prior to Evanston Made. As a non-artist, Degliantoni said it was difficult for her to meet local artists when she moved to Evanston 10 years ago. It was then that she decided to form the organization that she believed would establish a community.

Lisa Haskin, artist and vendor at the upcoming Maker’s Market, also felt a sense of disconnect with her fellow artists before joining Evanston Made.

“Before I was at Evanston Made…I didn’t know a lot of local artists,” Haskin said. “I think Lisa Degliantoni and Evanston Made in general have elevated the art scene 1000%.”

Haskin, a freelance graphic designer who sells collages and prints, said it was important for her to find other people to share her artistic concerns with. She said she is often isolated as a creative person and the recognition is encouraging.

“When you have someone who shares similar interests or struggles, there’s a really good feeling of being supported,” Haskin said. “Other artists can be cheerleaders for you.”

For vendors, places in the market are reserved on a first-come, first-served basis. Seventy of the 100 vendor spots have been claimed so far.

Vendors pay between $30 and $150 for a booth, depending on the artist’s level of expertise, and beginners pay less.

“We want to ensure artists have accessible and affordable opportunities to participate in our programs,” Degliantoni said.

The market is partly supported by resident volunteers. One resident, Anne Laverick, has volunteered at several Maker’s Markets. Although she is not an artist herself, Laverick said Evanston Made has provided her with a space to interact with artists and the community at large.

“It’s a great way to work with the creatives who are members and to meet people from the community who show up,” Laverick said. “I’m just happy to be a part of it and know that anything I can do will make their presence known.”

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