The Womyn’s Art Collective is a small group of eight local artists who formed around two years ago, with many members also part of the Athens Art Guild. It is a closed group that puts on events like pop-up shows and makes sharing art easier.
While the collective has done a few shows in the previous years, the sale this weekend at Kindred Market will be the first event of 2020, due to the coronavirus pandemic. Kelly Lawrence, a member of the collective, is an artist who works with ceramics and makes kitchenware, sculptures and jewelry for her company Green Mantle Studio.
Lawrence is excited for the event because it is the collective’s first opportunity of the year to share its wide variety of art at Kindred, a spot in Athens that means a lot to many members of Womyn’s Art Collective.
“Most of us are artists in Kindred Market, that’s part of why we are set up at Kindred Market,” Lawrence said. “Where all the jewelry and stuff is, you can find our work there, so that’s part of why Kindred is being so kind to let us use their parking lot, because we’re connected to them.”
Kindred has sold local arts and crafts for a while now, general manager Riley Kinnard said. Kinnard even has a specific area called the ‘Vibes’ section for items made by local artists.
“Kindred chose to sell local arts and crafts … (because) it’s a really good way to just engage with the community,” Kinnard said. “It wasn’t necessarily to, you know, make tons of money on people’s arts and crafts; it was more that we would be able to engage the community more and also give these local artists an opportunity to showcase their work in a place that a lot of community members would be frequenting.”
Lawrence, who also works at Kindred, is the one who came to Kinnard with this weekend’s event idea. Kinnard liked the concept instantly, seeing it as a way to give the artists even more recognition, while also drawing customers to Kindred.
Printmaker and collective member Savannah Freeman is also looking forward to the pop-up, particularly because she hasn’t done any in-person vending since February. She misses interacting with customers face-to-face, she said.
Freeman, who mostly makes greeting cards, banners and tote bags for her company Moonville Print Shop, has relied on selling her work at Kindred, the Farmacy and Etsy during the pandemic in order to socially distance.
Freeman hopes that the event has good turnout and that everyone attending the event will be eager to follow safety guidelines and wear masks.
“I love hanging out with the other artists during set up and when it’s slow,” Freeman said. “The Athens artist and maker community is wonderful and I’m looking forward to hanging out with some of them!”