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An 'Affordable Arts Fair' in Peterborough

Via The Thing in the Spring Website

An arts fair in Peterborough this weekend is aimed at the more budget-conscious arts consumer. Broke, the Affordable Arts Fair, features locally crafted work all priced under fifty dollars. The fair is being held this Saturday as part of the annual Thing in the Spring music festival.

Mary Goldthwaite-Gagne is co-founder of the fair, and she joined Morning Edition to talk about the event.

What's the idea behind the fair?

The Broke Arts Fair began in 2008 as a venue for local artists and artists from all over to come to the Peterborough region and bring affordable art to the community at large.

Why the $50 limit? How did you come to that number?

We felt like it was high enough that we could still bring in a wide range of different types of artwork.

So there must be a balance in making art affordable but also artists charging a fair price.

There is definitely a balance. There are some different types of media that lend themselves to affordability. We have many ceramics and jewelry vendors and also we are fortunate to have artists that make additions, especially for the Broke Arts event. So that could be painters who make smaller-scale work or limited edition digital prints specifically for that day. And it's an opportunity for people in the community to meet the people who are making the artwork  face-to-face and become exposed to their art. Then maybe outside of the context of Broke they invest in larger pieces down the line.

So what's been the response from artists?

Since 2008 the interest has grown exponentially. We started as an invitational show, just asking people who we knew who make artwork. Now,  The Glass Museum, which produces The Thing in the Spring and the Broke Arts Fair, is a 501c3 with a board of directors and we have a juried review process which takes applications. Unfortunately, we're not able to have everyone who's interested in the Broke space every time, so there's a rigorous application process. That is to allow for us to continue to produce high-quality shows and make room for new people to join us at each show.

That would speak to the success of the fair, that it's grown.


So what kind of art can people expect to find?

We have a wide range of mediums ranging from the more traditional media: paintings, print-making, sculptures. We are featuring two glass artists. There are many different ceramics artists that use all different processes. Jewelry, vintage and upcycled clothing. You can expect to see a very wide array of types of artwork. It's really great to have that much activity going on in the heart of downtown Peterborough and it's just one of my most favorite days of the year and I want to share that with other people.

Mary Goldthwaite-Gagne is co-founder and curator of Broke, the Affordable Arts Fair. It runs from 10 to 4 on Saturday at Peterborough Town Hall.

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