Indy Arts Market Grand Opening 

Two stars

City Market; June 28

Indianapolis City Market introduced its first ever, weekly Indy Arts Market last Saturday. Visual artists now sell their handcrafted creations each Saturday (9 a.m.-2 p.m.) outside on Whistler Plaza or amongst other vendors inside the City Market’s newly renovated space. Charming, eclectic and historic, the City Market has rich potential as a visual arts venue, but the last time I really experienced the full artistic presence of the site was during the 1999 Indianapolis Installation Fest. Indy Arts Market certainly does not push the envelope of artmaking like Installation Fest, but it’s a welcome inclusion of visual artists as merchants. On the outside bricks near Tomlinson Hall archway, the booth of Indianapolis potter Gail Galusky of Praying Mantis Pottery, and partner Tim Frederich, Dublin, Ohio, was overflowing with quality, wheel-thrown ceramic mugs, plates and pots — all stoneware with classic blue and earth-tone glazes — priced from $8 up. Inside, Joyce Ribble’s vintage button bracelet designs seemed to consider each button’s colors and patterns, using beading techniques to combine them into contemporary bangles. Robert Ryan painted an underwater sea turtle scene while manning his booth of animal and nature imagery. Still more local artists who sell their own original art are needed. There was an unfortunate presence of imported jewelry and what’s known as buy/sell — where artwork is purchased from a wholesaler or another artist or manufacturer then resold — which goes against Indy Arts Market’s goal to support independent artists. So bring your patronage and purchase local art.

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