Passion Works’ Artist Popup started hosting artists from around Athens to fill their parking lot with earlier this month. These Artist Popups will take place on Saturdays until December 19.
Passion Works arranged these events just in time for the holiday season and for anyone needing to buy gifts. There will be an array of different types of art, such as a variety of ceramics, prints, brooms, clothing, calendars, jewelry, cards, textiles and more.
“We just wanted to give,” Nancy Epling, an artist-in-residence at Passion Works, said. “Since it’s kind of a weird time, people are not able to do craft shows or, even just this summer, do festivals and different big gatherings and events, so we decided that we would give some of those artists an opportunity to sell in the parking lot and also to do something that was safe.”
At first, the event was only going to take place on November 28 for small business Saturday. However, the turnout was better than expected.
“We did just a quick one (Artist Popup) a couple of weeks ago,” Epling said. “We were like ‘How do we try to boost sales and get people into the gallery?’ So we were like ‘Oh let's try this.’ So we had about eight artists come out and sell their stuff and it was super successful. It was a really busy day in the gallery and store. We decided to do more, which are the ones coming up.”
There will be free hot coffee from Donkey Coffee, Fluff Bakery and Brenen’s Coffee Cafe. With the coffee, there will be snacks to enjoy alongside outdoor heaters to keep the cold away.
Many artists plan to make an appearance at these events to put their art on display for the community of Athens to observe or purchase.
“They have certain events like this, but I'm not sure if they've done anything with other community artists selling their work,” Quinn Amorette, of Quinn Amorette Ceramics, said. “But I think adding the community artists, like other mediums and stuff –– I think that's a newer thing that they decided to do, and they did the original one, which was a couple weeks ago, and then they decided to continue it for the holidays.”
The Artist Popup allows for Athens to become more acquainted with the local talent and support small businesses this holiday season. Furthermore, it allows for a moment of togetherness to be practiced safely during the season of giving.
“I would just want everybody to not feel tied down to doing something that they don't love,” Annabelle Heart of Dumpster Score said. “Keep being weird, also, just embracing yourself and figuring out what your passion is and going for it.”
Passion pulsates in the air and the artists plan to create an inclusive environment that introduces nearby residents to a broader spectrum of people and allows the introduction to anomalous mediums of art.
The holidays can be a stressful time and Passion Works wanted to create a space for local residents to appreciate. These events allow for friends and family to come out and safely enjoy holiday shopping that was made with love.
“This is a really good opportunity,” Amorette said. “Obviously we're dealing with a pandemic right now, so I know a lot of people are being really cautious about where they're going. But I would say this is definitely a good event. If you're looking for local gifts. It's hard right now to kind of experience your community. But I think the way that this is set up, there's enough room to social distance from people and it's going to be outside. So I would say, if people are looking for a chance to support local businesses and support local artists and get some holiday shopping done, this would be kind of like a good, safe way to do that.”