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Expanding Horizons: Alternative, Holiday and Punk Craft Fairs

            Welcome to Thalo’s “Expanding Horizons”! In this article series, we will be exploring and discussing topics pertaining to artists that are either cutting edge, underground or under-reported in the creative world. Hopefully these entries will help inspire you to explore new facets of your work and find new ways to make art work for you!

Expanding Horizons: Alternative, Holiday and Punk Craft Fairs

Craft Fairs are a celebrated pastime for creatives and can be a fantastic way for artists and artisans to showcase their wares and be social in a public space. There are craft fairs and events for all kinds of artists, from fine art to lowbrow, from sculptors and painters to knitters and jewelers.

An exciting development in the once traditional institution is the rise of “alternative” art and craft fairs. These are designed to shirk the social norms of the older and more reserved craft fair aesthetic and create an environment where artists and appreciators can exhibit and do business with as many people as possible in a fun and fresh way.


And, thanks to the rise of weekend events like conventions, there is a built-in culture of perusing artist alleys to find that perfect gift or piece of art! Fairs can outside the norm, and they tend to follow specific sets of aesthetics and concepts.


These kinds of fairs have steadily been growing over the years for several reasons, one being that they give creatives a way to meet and connect with patrons that they may not otherwise be able to. Another is the exercise of socializing with other creatives in person at an event. It can be helpful for not only fiscal but interpersonal reasons! There is also a community event that is very present in these kinds of festivals. These places support local establishments and by fellow folks in your area. It’s a fantastic way to get involved in your community!


There are Punk Rock Flea Markets, Witches Bazaars, Steampunk Craft Fairs, and more! Here are a few quick answers to some questions you may have:


How do I find one in my area?
You can check your local listings on craigslist under “Events,” “Artists,” or “Activities,” or under “Gigs.” You can also check your local Roller Derby team or other organizations that host events in your region. Most recruiting and applications for events happening in December should be occurring around this time of year!

You can also check out for national listings of events.


How do I know which event will work best for me?

Knowing what fairs work for you boils down to the kind of work you make and the kind of theme the craft fair is trying to attain. Speaking with the organizers is always a help in finding out if your work fits with the aesthetic of the fair!


How do I prepare?

You can read up on how to prepare for conventions and live events here! It is very similar, with the primary difference being the kind of work you choose to sell.


Hopefully, this is helpful to you, and be sure to check out your local listings and see what kind of fun you can find out there! Stay tuned for more tips, tricks, and insight into the underground here at thalo!