Firehouse Art Gallery holds Bizarre Bazaar event

Published 11:56 am Wednesday, November 29, 2023

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On November 18, Bainbridge’s Firehouse Art Center and Gallery once again hosted the Bizarre Bazaar to shed light on the creative individuals in the area.

“It’s to introduce artists and goods to the community,” said Jessica Polsky, the Firehouse’s Director. “We have a perfect location for a market.”

The majority of the Bazaar was held in the gallery, with a few vendors selling in the courtyard, allowing guests to visit every artist with ease.

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“It’s called a Bizarre Bazaar because it’s a creative place for eclectic, imaginative goods,” Polsky noted. “We just kind of wanted it to be a whimsical, fun market experience.”

Applications were open to the public, the goal being to bring as many creative sellers to the community as possible. In total, the Firehouse was able to provide 17 booths for vendors.

“We started advertising in August of this year,” she explained. “We have an application process, so people have to send us a photo of their work or their social media handle. We were full by September of artisans.”

Polsky explained that the goal was not to resell mass produced items, but to bring local and unique creations to the Bazaar’s buyers, setting each local talent apart from other sellers.

“We try to make sure we don’t have multiple vendors doing the same thing,” Polsky said. “We try to really honor the artisans that are coming in and not have somebody doing exactly the same thing to compete with them.”

The show held a variety of artistic goods, ranging from jewelry to pottery. However, a highlight of the event was Priscilla Spät’s booth, a local artist and member of the Artists’ Alliance at the Firehouse Art Center and Gallery. She sold hand-baked flans, a unique addition to the event, giving guests something to savor as they shopped. Her booth also featured her handmade beanies. 

“It’s the third year that I have done the Bizarre Bazaar,” Spät said. “I actually got a couple of orders from the Bazaar, because if I don’t have any colors that someone wants or size or anything I can take orders.”

Liz Pritchard, a pyrography artist, agreed that the show brought more attention and sales to her business, noting the impact last year’s Bazaar had on her business. It gave her the opportunity to further showcase her wood burning, primarily earrings and cutting boards. 

“I did the Bizarre Bazaar last year, and it was a fantastic experience both times,” Pritchard said. “This year’s Bazaar was probably one of the best festivals that I’ve had as far as sales.”

She explained how an event like the Bazaar allows artists to not only bring their work to the community but also to form partnerships with fellow creatives in the area.

“It’s a great little festival,” she explained. “It’s small, it’s unique, and it’s really fun because there’s a lot of community. It’s great to be able to network with other vendors and other artists who are in the area that I might not have known before. We really hit it off, and I hope to stay in touch with some of those people in the future.”

The Bazaar’s success brought people from the surrounding area to peruse the aisle of unique and local goods just in time for the holiday season.

“People love the market and it’s a good way to shop local,” Polsky concluded. “People just want to buy something with a meaning, and we were happy to offer that.”