Celebrating local artists and artisans
By Nhi Ho / Full Story on The Henry Herald
Local artists and artisans had the opportunity to share their talents with the community at the first Artisans Market Pop-up Shop, hosted by Hood Street Art Center, 136 Hood Street, in downtown McDonough.
The event featured handmade and handcrafted pieces that included wood and metal lamps and furniture by Tokio’s Designs, Karan Duke’s certified wellness teas, Visions Art Studio (Art By Ada Astacio), and Josh Weber’s GA Lighting Expressions among others. Resident artist Cresha Fulkerson Williamson also had her artwork and jewelry pieces available for purchase.
Hood Street associate director Beth Healy said that events like the Artisans Market pop-up provides a central gathering place for the arts community and residents of Henry County.
“There is truly something for everyone at the Hood. Whether you attend a party here, take your granddaughter to the ballet classes at Giselle DiBlasi School of Ballet, buy a painting for your new home, take in one of the shows by local theater troupe, The Henry Players, or participate in a Saturday yoga class with Southern Lotus Yoga, we are really a community center,” Healy said.
Although at the epicenter of Hood Street are the local Henry County artists, the art center aims to also highlight and feature artists within the Southern Crescent communities of Atlanta as well.
Hood Street director of business Alex Davis explains that the Southern Crescent is the area south and on the cusp of Atlanta.
“We would like to be the representatives for artists in this area. From Clayton County southward and east of Atlanta to Rockdale County,” Davis said.
Healy further explains that the metro Atlanta area south of 285, where more developments continue to grow as people living inside the perimeter are moving further and further south into the suburbs of Clayton and Henry counties, these areas have traditionally been underserved artistically.
Healy is doing her part in getting the word out about Hood Street with her weekly arts and community report on the SCBTV (Southern Crescent Broadcasting) station once a week and a monthly spot on local ZOOM radio. But social media buzz and word of mouth brings in the most awareness, including longtime Henry County residents who have yet to discover the art center.
With this first Artisans Market, Hood Street was able to extend the awareness by reaching out to artisans in the Southern Crescent and vendors responded. Covington resident Paula Travis had her wire-wrapped jewelry pieces available for purchase. Kathy Johnson with her luxury knits, Kosha Knits, came from Decatur.
Johnson explains that the best way to understand the quality of the yard and the beauty of the pieces is by seeing and feeling them in person.
“This is my first public showing and I’m really excited to see the shop and get some buzz. Contract projects are my joy. I’d love to see a market for specialty knits,” Johnson said.
“I only use the highest quality yarn for my work. Luxury fibers create pieces that are treasured, are durable and garner compliments. They are heirloom pieces because of the quality of the fibers along with the needlework. All my work is tagged with the exact yarn used so that you know exactly what you’re getting. No other etsy knitters do this because they are often using bargain yarns or acrylic blends.”
For more information on Johnson’s Kosha Knits, you can peruse her etsy shop at www.etsy.com/shop/KoshaKnits.
As for the upcoming calendar of events, Healy said, “the sky is the limit for fun, artistic events at Hood Street. We would like to offer a variety of regularly scheduled art classes of all types and we are interested in creative event ideas for the general public to attend as well: bachelorette art parties, showers, couples dance lessons, even business meetings – a much better atmosphere than a hotel conference room! Poetry and book readings, motivational speakers, as long as their ideas are creatively and/or artistically-based; performance art and art installations; video and photography shoot location; live music venue, like the next arts and music event on Friday, Oct. 21, with local musician David Ellis.”
The second Artisans Market Pop-up Shop is scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 10, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission to the market is free and open to the public.
For more information on Hood Street Art Center or any artists/artisans interested in being a vendor for the December pop-up shop, email Beth Healy at email@example.com or call 678-591-7744.