2014 Holiday Show Guide

by Liz Sabo November 14, 2014

Yesterday afternoon I looked out the window and there was just a slight dusting of snow on the still-green plants in the garden. As the day went along more and more snow collected. This morning it can’t be denied. With several inches of snow on the ground, winter is officially here.

But the start of winter means the start of the holiday show season. And while one of my busiest times of the year, it also has some of my favorite events. Whether you’re in a small, cozy gallery, or a large, converted factory, the holiday craft fairs are always buzzing with energy. People are happily shopping for and with friends and family. Artists and crafters have been lovingly throwing themselves into special new work for months. Show organizers have dedicated time and energy to bring the festive atmosphere together.

This year I’ve got a full show schedule: one every weekend from Thanksgiving to Christmas. Below is the list of holiday markets where I’ll be selling my bags. (And if you’d like a little reminder that a show is coming up, you can sign up for my newsletter.) I hope to see you at a show or two!

November 20, 2014
Thurs: 6pm - 10pm
@Linda Street, Rocky River, Ohio

The Linda Street businesses in Rocky River are a close knit community. To celebrate their little area of Rocky River, and the customers who support them, they’re throwing a street-wide party called Winter Market: Sip, Shop, Stroll. The event will have over 25 artists and craft business from around town. These vendors will be spread through the block of businesses, and some will even be bringing their own mobile stores. There will be beverages to be sipped, handcrafted shopping to do, and plenty to see as you stroll through the wintery evening. Taking place on a Thursday, what better way to spend a winter evening than mingling with friends and family at this free, community event?

the idiosynCRAFTic fair!
November 29 & 30, 2014
Sat, Sun: 10am - 5pm
@Musica, Summit Artspace & Akron Art Museum

This year marks the 6th annual Crafty Mart in Akron, Ohio. Like many of the great holiday shows, Crafty Mart features artists with a modern edge working in traditional mediums. This year the two day marketplace will stretch to include three separate downtown Akron locations. Crafty Mart will take place at its home venue of the Musica, but also at the Akron Art Museum and Summit Artspace. The locations are all within easy walking distance of each other, but if you’re tired from shopping, the City of Akron has also organized a fun trolley shuttle service.

Another great part of Crafty Mart is its timing. The first day coincides with Small Business Saturday. Small Business Saturday is a movement that focuses on the importance of supporting small local businesses. As many artists and crafters don’t have their own store front, Crafty Mart is a great opportunity to shop from local artists on Small Business Saturday. So skip the malls on Black Friday, and get your holiday shopping started at Crafty Mart.

Pittsburgh’s first and largest independent craft fair
December 6, 2014
Sat: 11am - 7pm
@David L. Lawrence Convention Center, Downtown Pittsburgh

Handmade Arcade started in 2004 with the idea of providing independent craft-based artists a place to connect with the shoppers who support their work. The founders of Handmade Arcade wanted to tap into the national resurgence of crafting, to showcase the new generation of artists who were reinventing what crafting looks like. The Pittsburgh event has grown to become a staple of the indie craft community. Recognized nationally, shoppers and sellers cross state lines and even country borders to attend the show.

While Handmade Arcade is entering its 11th year, this will be my first year attending the show. I am incredibly excited, and in fact honored, to be included with such amazing artists who take part. Whether you’re in Pittsburgh already, or even if you live outside the area, I hope you take the opportunity to visit this year’s Handmade Arcade.

Celebrating 10 seasons of buying local
December 13 & 14, 2014
Sat: 10am - 9pm Sun: 10am - 6pm
@78th Street Studios, Cleveland, Ohio

The west side holiday show is the culmination of the Cleveland Bazaar market season. Hitting its 10th year, Cleveland Bazaar has grown and watched Cleveland grow with it. The community of local artists and craftsmen has become a strong force within the city of Cleveland. And more than ever, shoppers are seeing the great value in supporting quality, handmade goods over shoddy, mass produced ones. With 100+ vendors selling lovingly made items over two days, this holiday market has become a must attend event.

This year, in celebration of their big anniversary, Cleveland Bazaar has a lot of special things planned, including 10th anniversary merch, and early-entrance tickets. RSVP on Facebook to make sure you hear about all the upcoming offers.

& Screw Factory Open Studio
December 20, 2014
Sat: 10am - 6pm
@Lake Erie Building, Lakewood, Ohio

The Last Minute Market & Screw Factory Open Studio is a curated, one-day marketplace of modern art and craft. More than 100 jury-selected artists and craftspeople from Cleveland and across the Rust Belt region join studio artists in the building where they open their doors to offer a peek at their workspace and an opportunity to purchase their work.

This large show is held the Saturday before Christmas, so it’s a perfect opportunity for all the procrastinators to still get wonderfully unique gifts for their loved ones. Taking place on the 2nd and 3rd floors of the old Lake Erie Screw building, this market has original art in an original location. Large, glass block windows line the old factory building’s walls, and tables and booths of handcrafted vendors snake through the open floor space. So finish up your last minute shopping at the Last Minute Market (or, if you’re all finished with gift shopping, go ahead and reward yourself with a few special treats.)

Liz Sabo
Liz Sabo


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