Announcing “Curb Appeal” a Solo Exhibition with Amy Rice

We are beyond excited to announce our 4th (!) solo exhibition with Minneapolis based mixed media artist and long time Art Star artist, Amy Rice. The show, titled “Curb Appeal”, will be up in our gallery space from March 25th through May 21st, 2017. We will be hosting a reception with the artist while she is in town on April 8th from 5-7pm. Light refreshments will be provided.

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“Curb Appeal” is inspired by Rice’s recent purchase of her first home with her partner, Matt. The artist describes her new house as a “seriously distressed foreclosure”, so the term “fixer upper” would be putting it lightly. The couple quickly dove into renovations to make their new house their own. Around the same time they also purchased some rural property in what they call a “Scandanavian Pride” town where all the homes have over the top decorations like fancy gables and hand cut decorative window trims. Her latest body of work is an exploration of all that we do to make a house a home – bringing in plants and potted flowers, adding art work, building window boxes, adopting pets, and adding all our own personal flourishes to create Curb Appeal.

Amy recently wrote and illustrated a Zine titled, “How To Grow Zinnias”, which comes with two zinnia seeds in hand-painted seed packets. The book will make its debut at our reception with the artist on April 8th. Stop by to pick up a signed copy!

Amy Rice Windows

Amy Rice’s nostalgic, subtly street art-influenced works are deeply defined by her Midwestern roots. Growing up in a rural area, Rice found inspiration in the surrounding flora and fauna; she naturally developed an intrinsic appreciation for the simplistic yet beautiful things in life. Rice is most satisfied when a tangible or visceral connection is built between the materials used and the image rendered. Her work is deeply layered, often both literally and figuratively. Her evocative, wistful imagery is largely biographical and reflective of her pensive nature.

Using non-traditional printmaking methods such as hand-cut stencils and a Japanese toy Gocco printer as a jumping off point, Rice develops the basis for her signature, one of a kind mixed media pieces. She combines, layers and experiments with many different mediums and tools including enamels, acrylics, gouache, inks, hand-carved linoleum print blocks and a antique letterpress machine. Rice searches out unique and meaningful surfaces that can run the gamut from antique papers such as handwritten love letters, journal pages, sheet music and maps to antique fabrics including heirloom embroidery and feed sacks from her family’s dairy farm.

She has exhibited her work extensively in galleries in the US and beyond. She has received the Minnesota State Arts Board Artist Initiative Grant as well as the Metropolitan Regional Arts Board Next Step Grant.

Rice enjoys working themes and imagery into her pieces such as bicycles, found objects, gardening, collective endeavors that challenge hierarchy, acts of compassion, downright silliness and things with wings.

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Announcing Half and a Third Pop Up and Free Valentine Making Night

We are very excited to announce that our friends over at Half and a Third will be taking over our back gallery space from February 11th – March 19th. They will be creating their own shop within our space.

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Half and a Third are local couple Ian Stafford and Katey Mangels. The pair combines their expertise in woodworking and graphic design to create quality goods for the home. Inspired by everything from sacred geometry, world cultures, and mid-century modern design; Half and a Third strive to make goods that have a simplistic beauty & modern charm. Their collection includes a wide selection of items. Shoppers can expect to find furniture, coasters, clocks, prints, trivets, cutting boards, art prints and more.

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Please join us for an opening reception for the Pop Up on February 11th from 4-7pm. The event will also include a Free Valentine’s Day Card Making Workshop with Bonnie Kaye Studio. Bonnie will be bringing her beautiful hand screen printed wrapping papers for you to use to cut up and collage a special card for your valentine or galentine! All materials provided. Pop on in anytime during the event (no reservations required). Bring friends! 20% off all Bonnie Kaye Goods during the event.

Complimentary Snacks and Libations provided.
Visit our Facebook Invite and let us know if you can make it

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Art Star CRAP Bazaar

Due to this event’s overwhelming success, we’ve decided to extend it through February 5th! Most artists have restocked so there are a ton of great finds still!

illustration by Andrew Zangerle

illustration by Andrew Zangerle

You read it right, we are hosting an Art Star CRAP Bazaar! It will be nothing like the Art Star Craft Bazaar, so you have been warned! A handful of our regular artists will be selling off their “Seconds” at huge discounts in our back gallery space for ONE WEEKEND ONLY. FREE TO ATTEND.

Saturday, January 28th, 11-7PM
Sunday, January 29th, 12-6pm
EXTENDED THROUGH FEB 5th!
in Art Star’s gallery space
623 N. 2nd Street

Participating Artists include:
BirdQueen Designs (jewelry)
Half and a Third (prints, wood, coasters, calendars, tees, etc)
Kasie Lyn Jewelry
Le Puppet Regime (Stained Glass Art)
On 3 Designs (bags)
Phea Jean (clothing and accessories)
Popped Stitches (Cross Stitch)
Stanley Chester & Albert (Pottery)
West Oak Design (Clothing, Home Goods, and Accessories)
Wrong World Ceramics (flasks, pottery)

No fancy booth displays and no frills! Just a few big tables in our back gallery space filled with stuff to rummage through! Artists will be selling items that didn’t quite make the cut, samples, one offs, items that are slighty “Off” but awesome all the same, items from past seasons or things they just flat out want to get rid of. Find a handmade treasure at A GREAT PRICE. This is a one time only event.

AND, the most important part: We will be donating 25% of our profits to the https://www.aclupa.org/

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Shop LOCAL this Holiday Season!

With everything going on in our country right now, it is so important to support small businesses. Not only this holiday season, but all year round! Shopping at a small business benefits your local economy much more than shopping at a big box store – it generates 3.5x more wealth for your local community in fact! It is also WAY better for the environment, as mom + pops are more likely to reuse and recycle materials. These are just a couple of broad examples. A curated shopping experience, better customer service, higher quality products, more unique items….oh, I could go on forever. But I’m preaching to the choir here, right?

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I know it is tempting to just sit in your pajamas and buy all your gifts on amazon, but that’s kinda boring don’t you think? Instead, why not get some exercise and explore Philadelphia’s multitude of amazing gift shops. You can easily find gifts for everyone on your list. Of course, we’d love for you to come do all your holiday shopping at Art Star (hey we’ll make your life easier and even wrap it for you!) but we know you can’t get EVERYTHING here. So here is a list of some of our favorite local shops that offer fantastic gift items and a lovely shopping experience.

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Omoi Zakka Shop

Omoi
My number one favorite store in Philadelphia. The most perfect design and lifestyle store.

Select 215
Sister shop to Omoi and just as special.

Once Worn Consignment
The BEST collection of second hand clothing. She also tends to get a good amount of designer brands.

Jinxed
If you don’t know about Jinxed, you’ve been living under a rock. The most affordable and awesome selection of vintage stuff.

Swag
Remember Fosters Urban Home (RIP)? This is its replacement. Modern kitchen wares, home goods, baby/kid stuff, kitschy/designy stuff.

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Ritual Ritual

Ritual Ritual
The most gorgeous selection of jewelry to be found under one roof.

City Planter
My favorite garden shop in Philly. Great selection of plants, planters, succulents, air plants, and they even have ornaments and herbs. Love it!

Brickbat Books
Best book selection for the discerning reader.

Moon & Arrow

Moon & Arrow

Moon + Arrow
Probably one of the best shopping experiences ever due to how absolutely gorgeous the space is. I could live here.

Smak Parlour
Owned by two local fashion designers that create the most darling, girly clothes!

Lost + Found
One of my all time favorite stores that carries great clothing brands at great prices. They also have a wonderful jewelry, accessories, and vintage selection.

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The Clay Studio

The Clay Studio
Their shop offers  handmade pottery by leading ceramicists from across the globe. They also offer classes and workshops so you can make your own ceramic gifts to give this season!

Fante’s Kitchen Shop
They have a great selection of cookware, bakeware, cutlery, and more. Basically heaven for the home cooks and chefs in your life.

Fabric Horse
The highest quality cycling bags, backpacks, pouches, lock holsters, hip packs and more
**update** I just got word that her storefront is now closed, but you can still shop her collection online. Everything is still made in Philadelphia here!

Bario Neal
Quality jewelry handmade from ethically sourced materials.

Loop
My favorite yarn shop. High quality yarn and also fantastic customer service. Just go in with an idea of what you want to make and they will give you a pattern and point you to the right yarn and needles!

Last, but certainly not least, I must mention two other wonderful handmade shops – Vix Emporium (West Philly) and Nice Things Handmade (South Philly). Both are owned and operated by lovely women. If we don’t have the handmade item you are looking for, these ladies likely will!

So get out from in front of your computer and shop small! What are some of your favorite local shops?

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Meet The Maker: Sherry Insley

My name is Sherry Insley of Sherry Insley Designs out of Baltimore, MD. I am an artist, metalsmith, teacher, and maker of things and people. I currently work mainly in jewelry, but do also dabble in small sculptural objects, wall pieces, and photography. I come from a background in photography, and while working on my MFA thesis, I taught myself how to weld to make frames for my photography work. My curiosity about metalsmithing was sparked and I dove into metal work.

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My current work is called the “Crescent Series” and is comprised of welded steel, sterling silver, brass and powder coating. I was influenced by Japanese textile design, the repetitive waves and cloud shapes, and the way positive and negative space is defined. I am also inspired by modern architecture and graphics, as well as more minimalist bold use of line and space. Materially speaking, my interests are in the industrial look and feel of steel, its hardness and durability, vs. the rounded shapes I am forming it into. The steel’s inherent “masculine” qualities contrasting with my design’s softer “feminine” curves. Steel is most commonly associated with building, strengthening, and manufacturing- here through traditionally industrial processes, I am transforming it into objects for adornment.

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My process begins with mild carbon steel in wire, sheet and rod. I cut it and form with hammers and stakes into the shapes that I want. Then I weld with a very tiny, very hot oxyacetylene torch. I wear the dark glasses because the flame is so bright it can damage your eyes. Next I grind all the welded joins for a smooth appearance. Filing and sanding is next, then it’s off to the powder coating booth! Powder coating is another industrial process I enjoy, it is generally used in the automotive industry. It protects the metal from oxidizing and rust, and the color options are fantastic. How powder coating works is an electrical current is run through the metal to be coated, then you spray the pigment with a powder coating gun. Lastly the piece is cured by heating in an oven at 400 degrees. Powder coating is very durable and provides a lovely smooth finish. My current color pallet, is Ruby Red, Chrome, and Satin Black.

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I work mostly out of my home studio in Baltimore, where I live with my very patient husband, super creative 7 year old son, 2 cranky elderly cats, and 1 rescue Boxer in a wheelchair. I do my welding and powder coating at The Baltimore Jewelry Center, where I rent studio time and space, and also take classes. It is a wonderful community of artists and makers, and I wouldn’t be where I am today without it.

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I am looking forward to showing at Art Star Craft Bazaar! Please stop by and say hi!

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Meet The Maker: Lauren Herzak-Bauman of Lauren H-B Studio

Hi! My name is Lauren and I make functional ceramics under the name Lauren H-B Studio. I grew up in a suburb near Cleveland, Ohio and always loved when my dad took me to the city. I loved visiting the Old Arcade with its beautiful wrought iron architecture and glass ceiling and window-shopping at all the small businesses that called this place home. My love of Cleveland and its architecture grew to include the century-old warehouses and factories that are found all over the city. My studio is housed in one of these old buildings, one that used to make electric cars at the turn of the century.

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Clay has always been my go-to material. My mother started a community art center when I was young and I learned to throw on a pottery wheel before I could drive. But I did not always make pots. While I started my college education making functional work, I went to graduate school in Minnesota to study ceramic sculpture (you can see that work at laurenhb.com). I moved back to Cleveland from Minneapolis about four years ago and started making pots to support myself until I could find a full-time job. I discovered a lot of support for my work in my hometown and now I am happily self-employed as an artist, working on both my sculpture and my functional work.

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Drawing on my background in sculpture, my forms take inspiration from abstract art and architecture. For surface inspiration, I look to natural phenomenon, such as moving water, rock striations, and star clusters. I love making things that can be both beautiful and useful. I design pots that have multiple uses. My serving bowls serve as tabletop artwork when not in use, but are also food safe and great for passing food around the table.

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Making ceramics is a multi-step process. I work with plaster molds made from original designs to create my forms. This allows me to make geometric shapes and to repeat the same shape with consistency. I pour a porcelain casting slip inside each plaster mold. The plaster absorbs the water from the slip and leaves a skin. After some time passes, I pour out the remaining slip. The remaining ‘skin’ becomes the ceramic object.

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After each piece comes out of the mold, I refine the surface and add any necessary slip details prior to the first firing. After the first firing, I spend a lot of time working on the surfaces of each pot. I really love the glaze process! I enjoy layering colors and finding new ways to add surface to my pieces. After I finish glazing, the pieces go back in the electric kiln for a glaze firing. Some pieces will go in the kiln one more time, this time for a luster firing, which allows me to add a low temperature metallic surface to the pieces.

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This is my first year traveling to Philly for Art Star Craft Bazaar and I couldn’t be more excited to share my work with a new audience. I’m bringing lots of new pieces and a new color palette to the show. Please stop by Booth #55! And thank you for shopping small business and handmade!

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Meet The Maker: Aftyn Shah of Rise + Wander

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Hello! I’m Aftyn, the self-taught printmaker behind Rise + Wander. I started R+W less than a year ago, and I’m feeling pretty lucky to be part of Art Star’s Craft Bazaar for my first in-person event. I work out of my home studio in Narberth, PA, on a desk covered in succulents and little treasures my son brings home from our walks.

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Blockprinting is such a simple, straightforward process, even if it can take weeks to execute. I sketch the bare bones of an image directly onto a block, then slowly carve away pieces to reveal the more detailed picture, and finally ink and print for the big reveal. Every print I pull is a complete original that has gone through the whole process with me. It might look almost identical to its predecessors at first, but each one has its own unique characteristics borne from the hand-pressing process. Printmaking truly makes owning original artwork accessible for everyone, which I think is a really cool aspect.

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The meaning behind Rise + Wander, as is often the case with creative businesses, is a personal one. After a bad car accident a few years ago, I developed quite a bit of anxiety, and doctors encouraged me to get outside. Returning to nature, to hiking and having little aimless adventures with my son, soothes my mind. I love the deliberate action implied by Rise combined with and contrasting against the more leisurely directionless Wander. I think it’s important to be intentional about having unstructured time outside.

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My first attempt at blockprinting started as art therapy. When I decided to try it out, inspired by my exposure to beautiful Indian textiles through my husband’s family, I knew next to nothing about it. I picked up cheap tools and some small linoleum blocks from a local craft store. Using those small blocks, I mostly created feathers and leaves, but as the size of the blocks grew my subject matter began to consistently represent my “Happy Place” outside.

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When I’m outside, whether it’s hiking at a National Park or walking to the nearby coffee shop, I’m often silently translating the natural elements around me into lines and gouges. I decide how I would interpret specific textures or patterns onto a block. It’s become a bit of a game, a mental exercise.

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When someone views my work or purchases a print, I hope they feel inspired to get outside and also perhaps like they’re bringing a bit of the great outdoors into their homes.

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Like I said, the Art Star Craft Bazaar will be my first in-person event, and I’m excited for the experience. We’re still new to the area, and I can’t wait to meet lots of new people and share my work. Looking forward to seeing you all there!

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Aftyn Shah is the outdoorsy printmaker living near Philadelphia with her husband and son. She’s usually daydreaming about mountain lakes, wild pines, and kayaking, which inspires many of her prints. Follow Rise + Wander on Instagram (@riseandwander) or check out her site riseandwander.com.

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Meet The Maker: David Salonen of EDMM studio

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I’ve always liked to understand, create, and build things. So, when I found industrial design it seemed like the perfect fit. My training and experience ingrained in me that good process delivers good outcomes. My curiosity and love of making things motivates me to learn new skills and develop them. I’m pretty sure the combination of these two qualities is how I got here.

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There is a part of EDMM studio that’s kind of always been there—doing things the right way, not adding the unnecessary, keeping it simple–but I put a name on it, and started to focus my efforts in late 2014. After leaving a job that was a bad fit and not wanting to go back to welding in a shipyard, I decided to start my own business. The time was as right as it was going to get. I had a few months before my son would be born and my wife was into it—so I got to work. I incorporated, designed and built some furniture, took a bunch of pictures, and put it all on the internet.

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Where to build things when you live in a city can be a real challenge. Not owning many tools and not having a garage, I started working out of a nearby cooperative shop that had both woodworking and metalworking tools–mostly on evenings and weekends. Every time I got an order it was a bit of a crunch, but the best kind of crunch. I’m thrilled (and lucky) to have my own shop now, and to be able to work the way I want.

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I’m not into “extra” anything. I love the simple, the sturdy, and the dialed-in single-purpose, I think this shows in my work. I start with form and intended use, and then I start sketching. A lot of the time those sketches go nowhere, but when I’m onto something I’ll work it out in CAD. 3D modeling allows me to experiment with proportions, helps me iron out technical details, and lets me preview finishes and materials.

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With a finalized design, I move on to fabrication and another layer of problem solving. Often I’m making something completely new and will have to figure out how I’m going to build it. I might be making a tool, a jig or fixture, finding a better way to clamp something, or just selecting the best material for the application—these steps are all part of the process. Then with a drawing and a plan, I can settle into the less brainy and more physical parts of the work—really focusing on my weld puddle, grinding that radius exactly like the last one, or sanding that end-grain so so smooth.

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EDMM gives me the opportunity to do all these things, while addressing familiar household design problems, making beautiful and durable artifacts, and hopefully giving my clients a richer and more positive and personal experience with both me, and with my product than they can get with mass produced goods.
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EDMM is a first time Art Star Craft Bazaar Vendor and will be showing at our November 19th and 20th show at the Simeone Musuem! Find his work at http://www.edmm.com/ and https://www.instagram.com/edmmstudio/

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Meet The Maker: Chris Elsasser of Munstre

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Munstre (mun-stir) began as a happy accident back in 2008, I used to make buttons for bands and events in the Boston area, and I’d do all of the layout and printing before finally running each piece through the button press. If the order was large enough I’d tape a few sheets of paper together in order to save time during the circle cutting stage – but in order to be sure everything lined up correctly on each sheet I’d hold the group of them up to a bright light. I’d hold them up, think “goddamnit the registration’s off again but hmm that’s a nice looking thing”, fix the registration and move on. It’s kind of a minimal moment, but one day after wrapping up an order I decided to print out one of my own simple designs onto some aged paper, I didn’t have a frame or anything built yet, but against the light that particular artwork came to life in a way that just didn’t quite work sitting on a computer screen… and I immediately felt like this thing had some potential. I at least wanted one for myself.

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The problem then was I had very, very little experience with woodworking and no knowledge whatsoever of electrical wiring (although I DID mount a battery powered 3v fan motor to a slab of wood when I was in 3rd grade) so I had to kind of find my way. Fortunately my dad had all of the equipment I’d need to start, and he helped me make the first frame for these lightboxes while also showing me how to not explode myself or his garage. Every step since then has basically just been learning, practicing, refining, testing new ideas, refining those etc…

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The style for Munstre has always reflected what I’m into in my own life, which tends to be antique or historic items with an ‘oddities’ edge to them, particularly medical ephemera. For years I’ve collected old photographs, books, clocks, 8mm films – all sorts of items that inform my decisions when it comes to design. Though each image is a product of a massive amount of photoshopping & digital painting, I try to impart enough real textures and layers around the focal point, and on some level keep the images grounded, so the viewer feels some connection to the piece while maintaining their curiosity.

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Over time these lightboxes showed up in stores, articles, a couple movies & tv shows. The support was very exciting, but it also became extremely exhausting. I had made so many little adjustments to my own construction & ideas along the way, I knew the process was probably far from efficient, and the idea of getting someone to help felt at once very needed & very daunting.

Eventually I was offered a FT Design job which of course ate up the majority of my production time, and I kept Munstre around as a minimal side project, thinking I’d return to it in a more dedicated way at another time. 6 months became a year, which became two. Then life made some adjustments for me, because somewhere in there I ended up meeting my now fiancee while she was in Medical school at Brown, and upon graduating she matched in Philadelphia for residency, so we picked up and moved down here without really knowing anyone. In the process of the move I decided to deactivate Munstre. Philly was a big reset button for me, and being the partner of a resident Physician I found myself with lots, and lots, and lots of alone time. I began using this time to refocus some creative energy, building a new workspace, re-discovering a love for music, and very slowly building a small recording studio as my interests grew. I started a music project called “Colurer”, and while I’m still writing and recording a full album (out in 2017) this process really helped wake me back up creatively. I’ve put out a handful of tracks, and am currently finalizing discussions to license some music for a movie coming out next year.

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This summer I was hit with a drive to reinvigorate Munstre. Working with some new materials, like textured stained glass, more interesting frames, and some great options with LED’s I am probably more excited than I was at its first inception. This time around I am also more inspired by the things I’ve come to appreciate through my fiancee: cooking, gardening, a connection to nature, and a generally more positive outlook on life. If you’d told me in 2008 I would one day find inspiration from green beans I would’ve questioned the course my life was taking.

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On a whim I sent a vendor application into Art Star and used that as the catalyst to get the project back in full operation. I’ve since carved out space in our apartment, working partly on our deck, and the other in the back half of my studio. In here I’m designing, assembling the boxes, printing films from modified wide-format printers, painting, wiring, and photographing everything in a much more streamlined way than I’d ever done previously.

The following 6 photos by Kristine Eng http://kristineeng.com/

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Thank you Art Star for accepting Munstre as a vendor, while I’m very busy designing & building a new collection of images for the bazaar, I will be continuing to add new products on http://munstre.com & my recently opened Etsy account (linked through my website). Looking forward to meeting everyone!

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www.munstre.com

Munstre is on instagram as MunstreGlow: https://www.instagram.com/munstreglow/

If you’re curious about my music project Colurer check out https://colurer.bandcamp.com/music

& instagram at Colurer https://www.instagram.com/colurer/

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Events We Love: Still Divided, An Election Party and Exhibit

We are very excited about this event, which has been organized by our friend Hope Rovelto of Little Chair Printing. We hope to see you there!
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Still DIVIDED: AN ELECTION PARTY AND EXHIBITION
Witness History Direct from Ringside at the Ice Box

November 8 – November 10, 2016
Opening Reception: November 8, 7-11pm
2nd Thursday Opening: November 10, 6-9pm

(PHILADELPHIA – November 8, 2016) The ICEBOX at the Crane Arts Building will host a unique exhibition and election viewing party featuring the work of local, national and international artists. The main event will occur Tuesday, November 8, during one of the most highly anticipated Presidential elections of our time. Beginning at 7:00pm, live feeds of the election results from multiple news sources will be projected alongside an exhibition including politically themed broadsides, newspapers, ceramics, live screen printing of posters and t-shirts, an interactive map of the United States, Zine making with The Soap Box Community Print Shop & Zine Library, live post painting by Yomi and more. Dock St. Brewery will be debuting their newest brew: Pathological Lager.

The goal of the exhibition organizers is to capture and critique the spectacle of political discourse in our media landscape. The division of the gallery into blue and red spaces will mimic and call attention to the passionately divided supporters of Republican candidate Donald Trump and Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton. From the organizers: “The Still Divided exhibition and election party seeks to mimic the tension of our two party system. Even in the midst of a ‘united’ rhetoric, we remain a divided country.”

With an admission price of $25, Attendees will receive their choice of a handmade ceramic cup, beer, games, art, music, and a chance to watch history being made with artists and citizens from the Philadelphia area. Anyone who shows up with an “I voted” sticker receives a $5 discount. Students with a current ID get the “Debt Relief” $10 discount.

For more information about the exhibition, or to speak with the organizers, please contact Hope Rovelto by calling (585) 615-2184 or emailing at hope.rovelto@gmail.com.
Facebook Event Invite

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