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The Scarlet & Black

Local artists featured in market at The Stew

The Stew, home to a variety of community-based art events, will host a local artists market this Friday and Saturday. Photo by Sofi Mendez.

If you’re looking for somewhere to take your parents this weekend that exemplifies the charm and vitality of Grinnell, the Local Artists Market is the place to be.

The Grinnell Area Arts Council is holding their second Local Artists Market this Friday and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at The Stew, their newly opened studio space located at 927 Broad Street. The Market will feature a variety of goods including quilts, photography, woodworking and pottery. 

“What’s cool is everyone is within a 50-mile radius [of Grinnell] so there’s nobody from the Des Moines or Iowa City metro area in this market,” said Erik Jarvis ’12, the events and facilities manager for the Grinnell Area Arts Council. “Here, you may know the artist, which is really neat — to see those people at the coffee shop. It’s like, ‘Oh! I have some of your pottery on my bookshelf.’”

Holding the bi-monthly Local Artist Market is part of the Arts Council’s mission to improve opportunities for artists in Grinnell. The opening of The Stew art studios earlier this year similarly contributes to this goal. The Stew holds open hours for community members to create art, or just hang out, as well as hosts events such as the Market. Jarvis hopes to use the space to establish regular retail opportunities for local artists. “Hopefully we’ll get to the point where we can have a permanent table of little things like zines,” Jarvis said.

Jarvis, an alum, said that he would love to see college staff or students selling work at the next Market, which will be held in November to coincide with the Jingle Bell Holiday. The Jingle Bell Holiday is an annual event organized by the Grinnell Chamber of Commerce that aims to encourage community members to shop locally. Jarvis’ goals for the Market are similar.

“I hope customers get a sense of what is unique about our community and how the arts and making things fits in with … a robust downtown economy.”

There are plenty of events happening this weekend that exemplify this robust community. Visitors to the Market can also take part in a Raku pottery workshop led by potters Tom and Wanda Clarke. Community members can also participate in the College’s UNITY Project, a public art installation exploring the unique yet connected identities that make up Grinnell, taking place just a few steps away from the Market.

“This whole stretch will be interactive art,” Jarvis said, gesturing to Broad Street. Stop by The Stew to check out the art and explore the rest of the activities downtown.

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