Posts Tagged ‘Art’

The Long Beach edition of the Spring 2017 Patchwork Indie Arts & Crafts Festival wrapped up this past Sunday at Marine Stadium in the Belmont Shore neighborhood of Long Beach. This semi-annual arts & crafts fair consists of a series of Sunday fests at three different locations: Santa Ana, Long Beach, and Oakland. Patchwork Fest emphasizes supporting the local community, and does so by not allowing anything corporate within the boundaries. To envision Patchwork Fest, imagine an arts & crafts fair, but catered to a modern trendy crowd that features local independent designers. Many locals set up their booths here, selling their wares, merchandise, apparel, accessories, foods, desserts, music, and so on. Twice a year, thousands of visitors descend upon Patchwork Fest to discover and revisit the hundreds of vendors present. No matter who shows up, all visitors will definitely find something that will please their interests.

Completely free to attend to the public, Patchwork Fest openly welcomes pets, and boasts a free bike valet for visitors. Each branch of the streets featured over a hundred different local vendors all selling their various goods and/or services. Visitors who get hungry could enjoy fresh hot eats from the various food vendors throughout the event area, or can browse through the various food booths in the fest for portable eats. Much like every iteration of the Patchwork Fest in Long Beach, the day saw plenty of sunshine and cool sea breezes, making it a comfortable day to spend some time here. Of particular note, a majority of the vendors here exhibited soaps and candles, adding a fresh scent to the event. Sun, sea, and soy collided as these scents waft through the air.

The Santa Ana edition of the Spring 2017 Patchwork Indie Arts & Crafts Festival wrapped up this past Sunday in Downtown Santa Ana. This semi-annual arts & crafts fair consists of a series of Sunday fests at three different locations: Santa Ana, Long Beach, and Oakland. Patchwork Fest emphasizes supporting the local community, and does so by not allowing anything corporate within the boundaries. To envision Patchwork Fest, imagine an arts & crafts fair, but catered to a modern trendy crowd that features local independent designers. Many locals set up their booths here, selling their wares, merchandise, apparel, accessories, foods, desserts, music, and so on. Twice a year, thousands of visitors descend upon Patchwork Fest to discover and revisit the dozens of vendors present. No matter who shows up, all visitors will definitely find something that will please their interests.

Completely free to attend to the public, Patchwork Fest openly welcomes pets, and boasts a free bike valet for visitors. Each branch of the streets features over a dozen different local vendors all selling their various goods and/or services. Visitors who get hungry could enjoy fresh hot eats from the various food vendors throughout the event area, or can browse through the various food booths in the fest for portable eats. Unlike the previous year where it rained on the event, this year’s event saw plenty of sunshine, which did not stop the vendors from going strong, nor did the heat stop the hundreds of visitors from seeking out great gifts.

The series of Patchwork Festivals happens twice a year: in Spring and Fall. With each series, it runs weekend after weekend at different locations. The next Patchwork Fest will occur in Long Beach in a few weeks. In addition to new foods to try, the lineup of vendors changes, so you may find some great new gifts for your friends & family. Give a like to the Patchwork Festival on Facebook and follow them on Twitter to see what they have in store for you at future shows. For a free fest, what have you got to lose?

The comics industry has grown quite substantially over the past year or two. Recent movies have helped with that, between all the sequels and reboots on the big screen and on television. The influx of independent and small artists & writers have also helped with the rise in the popularity of comics. Local art & comics events, such as the one coming up this weekend in Los Angeles, bring together the local community to meet and discover local art and writing talent. Fans do not always need to pay big bucks to enter such events – many events often attract hundreds of fans for little or no cost, such as the East LA Comic Con.

East LA shows that they love comics too at the 1st Annual East LA Comic Con. Taking place at the El Gallo Plaza this past Saturday, this free and all-ages event attracted over a thousand fans throughout the course of the day to come check out dozens of artists, writers, vendors, and exhibitors. For a small venue, the organizers managed to stuff many people into these tight quarters. Unlike a lot of the bigger comic cons, this event felt more like a zine fest than a full comic con. This event did not have the typical video games, screenings, panels, or outdoor exhibits that other events have. Like a zine fest, this event focused solely on the vendors and what they had to offer – the enclosed space and lack of electricity did not allow for much else.

As an event’s first year operating, of course one would expect to encounter beginner’s problems. From my experience at this event, many of the problems will vanish with the acquisition of a bigger, better venue. Main concerns involved the long line to get in, lack of space, and lack of air conditioning. The organizer can resolve all of this with a venue better capable of housing so many attendees. With the first year wrapped up, the organizers now have a firm grasp on the popularity of this event, and hopefully they can fix it for next year. Check out what they have planned coming up by liking them on Facebook and following them on Twitter.

The 50th Annual Sunset Beach Art Festival wrapped up this past weekend along Pacific Avenue in Sunset Beach. Completely free to attend for all ages, hundreds of local artists, designers, and vendors travel to this small town art fair to exhibit their wares in a family-friendly setting. Historically occurring on Mother’s Day weekend annually, visitors could find affordable yet thoughtful gifts for Mother’s Day, ranging from apparel to accessories to household items, like wind chimes, soap, candles, signs, and more. Running from Broadway all the way down to 7th Street, it would take quite some time to make it from one end of the fair to the other while gazing at both sides of the walkway for trinkets and other neat items to purchase. Visitors love fairs like this because of the emphasis on locally made products. Guests could find all sorts of handmade and homemade items here, including paintings, hung ornaments, tabletop decorations, fashion apparel, accessories, kitchen supplies, lawn ornaments, candles/incense, wall/door decorations, and more.

A portion of the proceeds made at this fair go back towards supporting the local community’s growth. Sunset Beach wants to keep its heritage as a small town nestled on the California coast. In the past few years, Sunset Beach locals have faced opposition from adjacent cities to merge with those cities, thus eliminating Sunset Beach altogether. The locals’ petition to retain Sunset Beach appears to have worked, as Sunset Beach still stands strong with this art festival attracting thousands of visitors over the weekend. Big cities like the neighboring Huntington Beach always get so much attention all the time that we often lose sight of the small towns so close to us. These small towns often house hidden gems such as this art festival, and by occasionally traveling off the beaten path, we may discover something extraordinary like what Sunset Beach has going on. Get out there and explore, because you never know what you may discover and like.

The Orange County Fair & Event Center’s Imaginology event returned for its 38th year running this past weekend in Costa Mesa. This free and all-ages event covered all things S.T.E.A.M. related – science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics. If it had anything to do with creativity, one would surely find it at Imaginology. Due to the nature of this event, its target audience primarily revolved around children from elementary school through high school. Suffice to say, anyone of any age would still surely appreciate all the gadgets, exhibits, demos, gizmos, toys, and whatnot available to interact with here.

As an event with lots of variety in the description, the plethora of available things to do would keep anyone occupied for hours. The center area in front of the hangar included a music stage, food vendors, and a handful of additional demo booths for visitors to check out. Around here, all the buildings contained something different. One building contained a good mixture of tables to interact with that included math, smartphones, costume design, traditional canvas art, 3D printing, automotive exhibits, fashion, medical devices, and more. Another building contained nature and biology exhibits, with the back exit door leading to outdoor nature exhibits. Between these two buildings, visitors would find the robotics hall, complete with teams and robotics competitions. Across the way, these buildings contained literature, photography, model kits, and traditional arts & crafts. The hall in between marked the main entrance to Imaginology – I had entered through the back, so I experienced this event in an odd order. In the entrance hallway, visitors got a glimpse at what they would encounter in the rest of the event, such as aerial arts, model trains, robotics, virtual reality, animals, engineering toys, and more. Lastly, the hangar contained what I refer to as glorified tabletop games, such as Jenga, Battleship, corn hole, jigsaw puzzles, and more. Once I stumbled upon this area, I quickly realized that all of these would fit in nicely at a beer festival.

Imaginology presents so much to do or see that it would clearly take more than a day to check out every single exhibit. Luckily, Imaginology takes place over the course of a three-day weekend, and it costs nothing to enter other than transportation and parking. Take note of other similar S.T.E.A.M. events in your area, as most of these do not cost anything to enter because they want to spread knowledge and education to today’s youth. Keep an eye out for Imaginology’s return next year as well, which normally takes place in mid-April.

The Uptown Whittier Spring Antique Street Faire returned for its 22nd annual run this past Saturday. Taking place on Philadelphia Street between Greenleaf Avenue and Painter Avenue, this free and all-ages street fair attracted thousands of people to come check out the dozens of vendors all selling lots of interesting goods. Items sold here ranged from apparel to accessories to decorations to furniture to toys to antiques and many other old-fashioned goods. In essence, this represented a local swap meet for the locals to vend their otherwise outdated items in hopes that visitors may find new use for them. Nevertheless, local markets such as this always make for a good opportunity to find items that you may have use for, and you may find something for a good price too. Check out Uptown Whittier on Facebook and Twitter, as they always have events going on here throughout the year.

Many fandom events have occurred recently in Southern California. The term “fandom” refers to a broad range of pop culture interests and hobbies, from comics to video games to anime/manga and more. The most popular ones cost the most to get in, but a lot of smaller ones often do not cost much, if not completely free, to attend, and more often than not the smaller ones still attract a huge crowd, such as as Coast Con 2017. Hosted by Anime Academia, an organization of Orange Coast College, Coast Con represents a locally-run community event around all things anime, manga, and video games. Taking place this past Saturday from 12pm to 8pm, this free and all-ages event attracted hundreds of fans of anime, manga, and video games to this quaint gathering for a fun day of mixing and mingling. Visitors would find artists, merchandise, live entertainment, cosplay contests, video game booths, a maid café, and more.

While it may not have the abundant amount of content that larger conventions and expos would have, Coast Con still had enough content to keep visitors occupied for a few hours. The Student Center acted as the hub of the event, containing a check-in table, lots of vendors, and the maid café. Directly outside in the maid quad, more artists and vendors set up along the center aisle. Going past this aisle, we find the classrooms that had the event’s programming, which included the video game stations and anime viewing rooms. Walking down from the main quad to the Moore Theatre brought us to the main stage where they held the cosplay contests. I only stuck around for the main cosplay contest that had everyone strut their stuff for the audience, and boy did a lot of people dress up for such a low-key event. This goes to show the dedication that these cosplayers have towards their interests.

While Anime Academia exists as a college organization, they often put on events open to the public. Check out Anime Academia on Facebook to see what other events they have planned that you can attend.

The Los Angeles Art Book Fair returned to the Geffen Contemporary at MOCA in the Little Tokyo neighborhood of Downtown Los Angeles this past weekend for its fifth consecutive year running. Free to attend for all ages, this massive event hosted by Printed Matter attracted thousands of art and literature enthusiasts from all over to come check out the hundreds of writers and artists exhibiting their works here. As far as the types of art found here, visitors would only find print and canvas works. However, this fair possessed more than enough eye candy for anyone interested in the arts. The diversity of genres covered here would appeal to anyone, young or old, classic or modern. From paintings to photography to books to magazines, this fair had it all, and visitors could purchase any of it to take home.

As a free and all-ages event, this makes for a great event to check out with friends and family. Make sure you bookmark the LA Art Book Fair for next year to visit, which comes back some time around late February to early March.

The Renegade Craft Fair Holiday Market returned to Grand Park in Downtown Los Angeles for its seventh year in a row this past weekend. This FREE two-day event features over a hundred different vendors and exhibitors selling various arts & crafts goods, ranging from apparel to accessories to miscellaneous home goods and more. The exhibitors, which consisted of artists, designers, bakers, crafters, and more, brought plenty of merchandise for the thousands of guests to browse and buy, just in time for the holidays. The Renegade Craft Fair typically sees a consistent crowd throughout the day at all of their events. Navigating the numerous aisles proved somewhat of a challenge with so many people around. This year’s holiday fair featured a mix of returning vendors and new vendors. Some of the returning vendors included Bad Pickle Tees, Pop Candy, Yarnover Truck, Hepp’s Salt, The Poster List, and more.

No one can truly go wrong at an event like this because it supports the local community. Not only can you acquire some really neat clothes or accessories that many other people may not own, but you support locals, meaning your money helps to stimulate the local economy instead of sending money to a corporation outside of the state, or even outside of the country. Of course, one does not need a fair like this to support independents. Anyone can find mom & pop shops everywhere, and purchasing from them helps more than just the business staff and owners. Supporting local businesses also supports the people, workers and customers, linked to that business. An occasion like Small Business Saturday does not exist simply for the purpose of spending even more money on holiday shopping – it promotes the awareness of small businesses and their effect on the local community. Take some time to appreciate the local wonders in your community, and you may find the outcome rewarding at best. Keep up with updates about local craft fairs by liking Renegade Craft Fair on Facebook and following them on Twitter.

Southern California has such a diverse culture that appreciates many different things. Nowhere else does this diversity appear more in than within the cuisine here. Southern California houses so many different types of food that keeping track of them all turns into a job rather than a chore. Luckily, Southern California has food events, such as Artisanal LA, that allow visitors to experience what Southern California has to offer to your curious tastebuds. For something completely different this time, Artisanal LA teamed up with Arcadia to transform their trademark designer food expo into a one-of-a-kind street fair. At this free and all-ages event, visitors to this European market-inspired local shopping experience encountered the latest trends in food, drinks, fashion, accessories, and more. Whereas the official Artisanal LA features dozens of artists, chefs, bakers, designers, and more from across the world, this small event only had a few dozen set up what appeared to outsiders as a farmer’s market. Unlike a farmer’s market, this event did not have fresh produce, but it did have fresh goods!

Artisanal LA conducts a semiannual show at The Reef in South Central Los Angeles, bringing along with it a slew of local designer goods for our eyes and mouths. At Artisanal LA, this two-day all-ages event allows visitors to stroll through the numerous aisles filled with local artisanal vendors, where visitors can sample products, purchase products, or receive information about services for future business. At select times during the weekend, seminars would take place, where visitors can sit down to listen and watch demos or learn about things. Around every corner, most products sold consist of snacks, especially jerky, or dessert, such as cookies, cupcakes, candy, and more. I would anticipate that anyone arriving without a sweet tooth may feel left out of the many vendors present. Check out Artisanal LA semiannually around April and October, and keep up with their news on their Facebook and Twitter pages.