Having made my living for a number of years designing, making and selling my own line of handmade products and as the former co-director of the Providence Craft Show, I believe in buying “handmade” and shopping direct from the artists when possible. September is becoming a great time of year to buy art in the Providence/Pawtucket area; shop the Providence Open Market, Pawtucket Open Studios and the Pawtucket Arts Festival. Diana Brennan tells our readers about a group of local artists who have joined together to market and cross-promote their art called the Arts in RI Etsy Street Team. You can find the Street Team this weekend at the Pawtucket Arts Festival.
Fed up with big box stores and mass-produced goods shipped from overseas, a select group of artists and crafters from all over Rhode Island has banded together in the Arts in RI Etsy Street Team to promote and sell local, handmade goods. We found each other via indie powerhouse website Etsy.com, one of Time Magazine’s top five Best Websites 2007, and now we are taking the handmade revolution to the streets of Rhode Island. The team will have a big group presence, spanning 5 booths, at the Pawtucket Arts Festival on September 13 and 14.
What is the handmade revolution? It is the movement towards purchasing goods or services directly from the maker. Many times, as in this case, it goes hand-in-hand with buying local (a great way to go green) and making a conscious effort to support mom & pop shops. The handmade revolution restores the timeless connection between maker and buyer, a social link missing in today’s age of overseas factories and chain stores. Buying handmade supports the local economy. It also gives buyers peace of mind — they know that the item they purchased was made responsibly, without worker safety violations or iffy employment practices. At the Pawtucket Arts Festival, Arts in RI members will be spreading this message and demonstrating how they hand-make their goods.
Arts in RI is a juried group committed to making high-quality, handmade items. Group members include metalsmiths, jewelers, painters, photographers, fiber artists, glass artists, and more! See more of their work on the Arts in RI website.
Find them locally:
10th Annual Pawtucket Arts Festival
September 13 & 14, from 10 am to 5 pm
Slater Memorial Park- 401 Newport Ave., Pawtucket RI, 02860
Artists shown (L to R): A La Mode, Julie Beck, Heather Jeany, D. S. Brennan Photography