Unglued’s 7th Annual Craft Fest Packed With Creativity
Huge turnout, high sales mean return of even better Unglued next year
BY ASHLEY REZACHEK
One could mistake the entrance line for the 7th annual Unglued Craft Fest as a Target line on Black Friday.
By 8 a.m. the entrance between the two doors of the Plains Art Museum was already packed. People arrived an hour early just to snag a swag bag given out to the first 100 people in line. Three of the bags contained a golden ticket worth $25 to be spent at any vendor at the fest.
Many of the people in line made a day of the event. The dedicated folks had been there for a long time. In fact, one person brought a portable chair to sit and wait in line, and a group of teens practiced watercolor calligraphy to pass time. A musician played in the background, but was mostly drowned out by the sounds of chatter.
Unglued’s Craft Fest was packed with tons of activities for people of all ages. Workshops were held throughout the day and vendor’s booths were up from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Live music including, Randi Kay, The Shuttles and The Cropdusters added to the creative atmosphere.
Over 70 makers participated in the craft fest, selling a variety of handmade goods, covering three floors of the museum. The craft fest gave small businesses a chance to shine and was a perfect opportunity for shoppers to beat the winter blues.
“It’s a fun winter activity,” said Kaija Thorson, a graphic designer for Scheels, artist at the Unglued Craft Fest and owner of Art by Kaija Lea.
Her portrait drawing style can be described as animated and Disney-like.
“My style started probably from watching a lot of animated manga and reading manga,” Thorson said.
Thorson was at the Unglued Craft Fest to draw portraits; she described the event as very busy and successful.
“I pretty much drew from 9:30 to 4,” Thomson said. “I probably had like 15 minutes at the beginning where I had no one there yet since I was on the second floor. They had to work their way up.”
A variety of items was sold at the fest. There were knitted, sewn, painted and upcycled items. Unglued’s Craft Fest had everything from Aerow’s handmade jewelry and Ashley Beth Pottery to Catie Miller Ceramics. Make Room had a table as well. Make Room is an art gallery in Fargo that holds workshops and social hours at which people can come in and learn how to create a variety of crafts.
“I think it’s a good community event … that families can come to and everyone can go to it whether you are creative or not,” Melissa Steedsman said. She considers herself a maker and creates modern home décor and throws craft parties in her studio. Her business 521 Handmade was also at the fest.
Steedsman described the day as “super busy. High energy people came to shop and to meet the artist.”
The craft fest also included an area for young makers, ages 8 to 13, to show off their creativity and sell their crafts.
Workshops included printmaking, felt embroidery, wood carving, a marbled succulent project and many more.
The event brought in a lot of business for crafters and makers in the Fargo area and abroad.
“I think it’s important because it gets all the artists in the community together and shows off our creativity,” Thorson said. “I just wish there was a bigger building for it.”
Over 5,000 people attended the event last Saturday, making the event a popular venue for makers to want to set up their tables. Every year the vendor applications are juried by judges; vendors have to show how they have evolved their skills and creativity.
“It’s a good event to, you know, get your name out there and to meet your customers in real life,” Steedsman said.
Both Thorson and Steedsman said they will apply to be in the fest again next year. Unglued likes to promote new makers and people who are just starting their business. Thorson sees further success for the Unglued Craft Fest in the future with more variety of artists.
(Ashley Rezachek is a multimedia journalism and biochemistry and biotechnology major at MSUM. She hopes to one day combine her majors for a career in science writing or editing, and help bridge the gap between the public and the science world. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.)